American Holly (Ilex opaca)

[ Trees > Hardwoods > Hollies . . . ]      Forest Type: Multiple


Thick, evergreen leaves with spiny tips; bright red "Christmas" berries; growing in the southern Appalachians and the southeastern United States.

by Michael Kuo

Habitat: Found in many forest types; rarely in relatively pure stands; absent or existing only as scattered understory trees in areas near cities, due to Christmas destruction ("Deck the halls with wholesale slaughter").

Stature: 40-60 feet high (usually smaller); to 2 feet in diameter; with a dense crown.

Leaves: Evergreen; 2-4 inches long; simple; alternate; leathery; with spiny teeth; yellowish green above; paler below.

Bark: Thin; grayish; smooth, with warty areas.

Fruit: A round berry; to about a quarter inch wide; bright red.

(References consulted)


Ilex opaca

Ilex opaca

Ilex opaca

Ilex opaca

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Kuo, M. (2007, April). American holly (Ilex opaca). Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: