Holly of the Year 2003...

At an HSA Board of Trustees meeting in 2002, someone suggested that the Holly Society begin recommending a "holly of the year." It would be an ideal way to bring superlative hollies to the attention of the public and to introduce gardeners and nurserymen to the existance of the Holly Society of America. In naming the program, the board honored the late Gene Eisenbiess, a holly expert from the National Arboretum who had done so much over the years to help the Society.

The committee in charge of selecting the Gene Eisenbeiss Holly of the Year try to pick out hollies that are available at a wide range of nurseries, would be easy to grow, and would be hardy in a number of USDA Hardiness Zones.

2003 Gene Eisenbeiss Holly of the Year
Ilex opaca 'Satyr Hill'

Holly of the Year

Photo by Linda Parsons

The holly chosen for the 2003 Holly of the Year is Ilex opaca 'Satyr Hill'. This fine American holly was found as a volunteer seedling and developed at McLean Nurseries in Towson, Maryland by Stewart McLean. 'Satyr Hill' was registered by the Holly Society in 1970, registration number 3-70, and was named for the road on which the nursery is located.
'Satyr Hill' has large, dark olive green leaves that are about 2 3/8 inches (6.0 cm) long and 2 inches (5.1 cm) wide. They are glossy, broadly oval, and nearly flat with 5 or 6 spines on each side. The fruit is bright red and about 3/8 inch (0.95 cm) in diameter. Berries are borne singly and are nicely spaced. Full color is reached in late October in USDA Hardiness Zone 6. Berry retention is excellent, lasting all winter and into the spring when the robins eat them. This holly’s beautiful berries and foliage make it highly suitable for wreaths and other cut holly uses, where it has proven to hold up extremely well.
'Satyr Hill' is a vigorous grower with a compact, upright habit. The original registrant was about 9 feet (2.7 m) tall and wide at ten years in USDA Hardiness Zone 7. The plant should be hardy to Zone 5.
A beautiful holly, 'Satyr Hill' makes a wonderful landscape plant suitable for use as a striking specimen or grouped with other material at the back of a mixed border or in the center of an island bed. It also looks well as an under story plant in naturalistic or woodland settings. As with other American hollies, it is suitable for use in hedges or screening plantings.


Holly Society of Americca

Site Map  |  Contact

Top of Page