7. Holly Hedge

Stop #7 Holly Arch E. A. McIlhenny planted this remarkable hedgerow in the 1920’s. Frank Meyer, the international plant explorer, brought the first holly shrub (Ilex cornuta) from China to a USDA experimental garden in California, where McIlhenny received cornuta hollies along with other holly species for planting and evaluation at Avery Island. From Ilex cornuta, McIlhenny is credited with producing many of the commercially important cultivars available in nursery trade today. These holly cultivars were mostly introduced after McIlhenny’s death through the horticulture department at the University of Louisiana. McIlhenny himself put Ilex cornuta rotunda on the market in 1930. Ilex cornuta rotunda was surprising because it actually produces berries whereas the other Ilex cornuta cultivars did not.