Holly – Naming

Q: My father had a holly that he had found in the woods years ago. He grew 2 other plants from cuttings. One he gave to a special customer and the other was planted at my sister’s house. Her plant died in the drought last year. I have the other one at my house. It is a huge holly – about 12 feet high. Daddy keyed it and could not find any other holly like it.

I am going to start rooting cuttings from it this spring. I am not interested in propagating the holly for monetary reasons. I am, however, interested in propagating enough of the hollies to make the variety viable and I want to have it named after my father.

If I can successfully grow enough hollies I will give them away to horticulture groups here in Georgia. My question to you is, how do I get the holly “certified” so that it can be named? I have contacted the Holly Society of America, but I did not get a clear answer out of them. Is there someone at UGA I could talk to?

A: “Certification” is no more than naming a plant and distributing enough of it so that folks recognize it, when they see it, as “your” plant. That’s how ‘Bath’s Pink’ dianthus and ‘Nellie
Stephens’ holly and all the others did it.

The first thing you probably need to do is to make sure your holly is indeed “different” from anything else out there. I would take a close up photo of a leaf, a flower (and berry cluster if any) and send to both Ken Tilt at Auburn and John Ruter at UGA.

Here are their addresses:

Dr. Ken Tilt
167 Funchess Hall ,
Auburn Univ., Auburn AL
Phone: 334-844-5484
email:ktilt@acesag.auburn.edu

Dr. John Ruter
PO Box 748 Moore Hwy
Tifton GA 31793