A native of China and Japan where it is often seen planted around temples, Tarayo holly is also known as lusterleaf holly. It’s large coarse leathery leaves are glossy dark green above, yellow-green below, and have serrate margins. At six to eight inches long and three inches wide, they are unusually large for a holly. Dense clusters of inconspicuous fragrant yellow-green male and female flowers are produced in the axils of leaves on different trees in late spring. Female flowers are followed by red-orange berries 3/16” across that ripen in late fall and persist into winter. Tarayo holly make beautiful backdrops when planted in a shrub border and are attractive all winter. They can be grown with multiple or single stems. Because of the difficulty in propagating them, however, they may be difficult to find.
Type: Evergreen tree
Outstanding Features: Large evergreen leaves
Form: Broadly conical
Growth Rate: Medium
Bloom: Inconspicous male and female flowers are produced on separate trees in spring.
Size: 20-40’ H x 15-25’ W
Light: Part sun, part shade, shade
Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained; drought resistance when established
Hardiness: Zones 7-9
Care: Low maintenance
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: Propagation is difficult: seeds take a long time to generate, hardwood cuttings taken in fall and winter do not root readily, grafting on Ilex