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Ilex fargesii was named after the French missionary Paul Farges, who collected the plant in eastern Sichuan (China) at the end of the 19th century. Farges's holly was introduced into cultivation in Britain by Ernest Wilson who sent seeds back from west Hubei to Messrs Veitch and Son (of the Exeter and Chelsea Nurseries) in 1900. This holly eventually forms a small, evergreen tree, with distinctive, narrow leaves.

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description
Farges's holly, named after the French missionary Paul Farges, is a Chinese holly with glossy dark green leaves and fragrant white flowers, followed by red berries.

Ilex fargesii was named after the French missionary Paul Farges, who collected the plant in eastern Sichuan (China) at the end of the 19th century. Farges's holly was introduced into cultivation in Britain by Ernest Wilson who sent seeds back from west Hubei to Messrs Veitch and Son (of the Exeter and Chelsea Nurseries) in 1900. This holly eventually forms a small, evergreen tree, with distinctive, narrow leaves.

Species Profile
Geography and distribution

Native to western and central China, where it is found in Sichuan, south Gansu, west Hubei, Hunan and south Shaanxi provinces, at 1,500-3,000 m above sea level.

Description

Overview:  An evergreen shrub or small tree up to 8 m high, with stout young branches.

Leaves: The leathery leaves are spineless, narrow, up to 12 cm long, dark green on the upper side and lighter green below, with a few incurved teeth at the apex of the leaf.

Flowers/fruits:  The white flowers appear in May. The male flowers are reported to be fragrant and the female flowers are followed in the autumn by small, round, red fruits, carried in groups in the leaf axils.

Uses

Farges's holly is cultivated as an ornamental. It is one of more than 1,000 plant species collected in China at the beginning of the 20th century by Ernest 'Chinese' Wilson (1876-1930).

Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plant life world wide, focusing on plants under threat and those of most use in the future. Seeds are dried, packaged and stored at a sub-zero temperature in our seed bank vault.

Number of seed collections stored in the Millennium Seed Bank: One

This species at Kew

Ilex fargesii can be seen growing along Holly Walk and in the Woodland Garden near the Temple of Aeolus at Kew, and in Westwood Valley at Wakehurst. Some specimens have been grown from seed collected by Kew staff (including Tony Kirkham) during expeditions to Sichuan (in 1996 and 2001).

Pressed and dried specimens of Ilex fargesii are held in Kew's Herbarium where they are available to researchers by appointment. The details of some of these, including images, can be seen online in Kew's Herbarium Catalogue.

Distribution
China
Ecology
In thickets, woodlands and forests on mountain slopes.
Conservation
Not known to be threatened.
Hazards

None known.

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[KSP]
Use
Ornamental.

Native to:

China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast

English
Farges’s holly

Ilex fargesii Franch. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 30, 1895 Wilson, E.H. [1827 a], Hubei Ilex fargesii var. brevifolia K000669408 syntype

First published in J. Bot. (Morot) 12: 255 (1898)

Accepted by

  • (2020). https://www.mapress.com/j/pt/article/view/phytotaxa.432.1.5/38527 epublication.
  • Hong, D.Y. (2015). A taxonomical revision of Ilex (Aquifoliaceae) in the Pan-Himalaya and unraveling its distribution patterns Phytotaxa 230: 151-171.
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2008). Flora of China 11: 1-622. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis).

Literature

Kew Species Profiles

  • The Plant List (2010). Ilex fargesii.
  • Andrews, S. (1986). The Ilex fargesii complex. Kew Mag. ( Curtis’s Bot. Mag.) 3: 127-135.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • (2020). https://www.mapress.com/j/pt/article/view/phytotaxa.432.1.5/38527 epublication.
  • Hong, D.Y. (2015). A taxonomical revision of Ilex (Aquifoliaceae) in the Pan-Himalaya and unraveling its distribution patterns Phytotaxa 230: 151-171.
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2008). Flora of China 11: 1-622. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis).

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0