Ilex x Red Beauty® PP14750
Red Beauty® (‘Rutzan’) Holly is a variety released to the public from Dr. Elwin Orton’s lifelong work with the genus Ilex. It is a distinct variety of evergreen holly tree, combining dark glossy green foliage with an abundance of well-displayed bright red berries. It becomes densely branched with a narrow conical form, to allow for very little or no pruning. These new compact-growing holly trees have the following desirable characteristics:
- Pest resistance- deer resistant, disease resistant
- Hardiness- cold tolerant, minimal maintenance required
- shiny, dark green foliage
- abundant bunches of bright, well-displayed red berries
- elegant, pyramidal, compact
- height- 10 feet
- spread- 5 feet
- USDA Hardiness Zone 6
- Needs pollinator for optimal berry production
It is readily pollinated by Ilex x meserveae males, and the fruit is attractive on its evergreen setting all winter. Slow-growing and narrow, it fits in well in smaller garden spaces.
‘Portia Orton’ Ilex (patent pending)
The newest addition to the Rutgers holly breeding program is the ‘Portia Orton.’ Named after the wife of longstanding plant breeder Dr. Elwin Orton, this beautiful holly is known for its visual appeal and durability. It has attractive dark green leaves, large red berries, and has been bred to withstand cold winters and repel deer, naturally. Something special about this variety is that over five decades of research went into its production.
Each holly tree generation takes approximately ten years to mature, at which point it will be analyzed, selected for desirable traits, crossed with another desirable specimen, and prepared for the following generation. Once a suitable set of genes has been established, the product can be trademarked, propagated, and sold to nurseries. The unrooted cuttings are produced by Rutgers and sold to intermediaries for propagation. These intermediaries raise the trees for two to three years before they are ready for retail sale.