PPDL Picture of the Week

May 16, 2016

Hollies all Leaves, No Flowers?

Rosie Lerner, Consumer Horticulture Extension Specialist, Purdue University

If you've planted a 'Blue Princess' Holly hoping for those ornamental red fruits in the winter, you'll need to add at least one more plant to your landscape.  A 'Princess' needs a 'Prince'!  Since hollies bear separate male and female flowers on separate plants, you'll need at least one male plant to provide the pollen for the female plants to bear fruits.   The male plants do NOT produce fruit, but the females can only produce fruit when pollen is provided by the male plant.  Male and female holly plants look identical in foliage and habit, they only way to tell them apart is by the flower structures, or if fruit are present. 

​Click image to enlarge


Fig.1-Male holly flowers have 5 stamens which will release pollen.

Fig.2-Female holly flowers have a single ovary that develop into the ornamental fruit only if their egg cell (ovules) successfully unite with pollen.