The tsuru holly is a very low plant with leathery leaves and large red berries. It grows naturally on Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East, as well as on the Kurile Islands and eight mountain tops in Japan. The higher up the mountains it grows, the lower this holly gets and the narrower its evergreen leaves become.
Adapted as it is to difficult conditions, this holly can be expected to thrive in Finland, especially where winter snow cover is guaranteed.
At Mustila it has grown successfully for several decades at the west end of Etelärinne (Southern Slope), and could be grown more generally.
The American Kathleen Meserve understood the value of tsuru holly when she started working on the breeding of winter-hardy hollies. By crossing the species with taller hollies a number of garden varieties have been produced which would be worth trying in Finland.