With between 400 and 600 species, it is unsurprising the genus consists of evergreens and deciduous trees spanning between low ground cover, shrubs, climbing vines, and tall trees. The single or clustered, usually greenish small flowers are unisexual and have four petals, and the male and female flowers are usually borne on separate plants. English holly and American holly are used as ornamental Christmas greens. Glossy dark green above, matt light green below, and waxy to … The berries are bright red, vivid orange or … The male has four prominent, pollen-bearing stamens that splay out in an ‘X’ shape, seen in spring and summer, from May. This is the ovary, which forms the base of the yellowish stigma. This holly does well in full sun or part shade and is very tolerant of drought. Hollies can be shrubby or tree like, shaped for a manicured appearance into teardrops, lollipops (like the East Palatka holly pictured above) or even small shade trees. As one of Britain’s most common native trees, holly has been used by furniture makers for centuries. Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii', Burford Holly. The berries can be red, orange, or even yellow, and birds and other wildlife will feed on them through the winter months. How is holly dispersed? Oak Leaf holly (Ilex x “Conaf”) is a hybrid in the Red Holly series. Holly is a diocecious plant – which means that it has separate male and female plants. Holly, (genus Ilex), genus of some 600 species of shrubs and trees in the family Aquifoliaceae, distributed nearly worldwide. The greatest diversity of species is found in the Americas and in Southeast Asia. As the whitest wood, it can also be easily stained. Yaupon is dioeciouswhich means that male and female flowers are born on separate plants; male yaupon hollies do not produce berries. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. Its dense and finely-textured wood was popular in decorative marquetry and inlay work. Only the female plants produce berries, known as drupes. Fruit appears on a female holly tree after pollination. There are also four stamens, but these don’t produce pollen. Male and female flowers are on separate trees, so trees of both sexes must be located within the same area to ensure fruit production. New low growth has more spines as it is within the browsing zone of deer – leaves that are above 2–3m are smoother-edged. All five thrush species found in Britain in winter love holly … Before holly was hung in houses to accompany Christmas trees, it was considered to be a sacred plant by the Druids. Holly is a key foodplant for about 30 species of invertebrate, including the caterpillars of insects such as the holly blue butterfly (adult pictured below) and privet hawkmoth. Hooray for holly wood. English holly's native range is the British Isles to southern and central Europe. It is commonly called topel holly, although some of the named cultivars thereunder have different common … Possum haw (I. decidua), also deciduous, bears red fruits on a shrub growing to 10 metres (33 feet). Youpon holly is one of the more tolerant of the holly shrubs, doing well in a variety of soil types, moisture levels, pH levels, and sun exposures. Carolina Holly (Ilex ambigua) Carolina holly is one of the deciduous species of holly. It is native to eastern North America, as is the deciduous winterberry (I. verticillata). This tree is considered both an evergreen tree and an ornamental tree. The leaves are a leathery, glossy, dark green and vary in size and shape. As you scan a list of holly tree facts, you may think that one of the most charming qualities of the American holly (Ilex opaca) is its diversity. Holly is a plant. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The height of a full-grown holly tree varies depending on the species. This pyramidal tree features dense foliage and grows less than 12 inches annually, making it a slow-growing tree. Try 3 issues of BBC Wildlife Magazine for just £5! On the poor soils of coastal beaches, this holly may never exceed shrub size. The fruits are drupes and are an important winter food for many bird species; most are not safe for human consumption. Females produce bright berries. Female flowers develop into rich red berries, which remain on the tree throughout winter. You're now subscribed to our newsletter. You’ll also find some tips on English holly plant care. Depending on the species, the fruit of a holly tree can either be orange, red, white, black or yellow. Acorns are produced in the first year falling in autumn. The somewhat taller American holly (I. opaca) has oblong prickly leaves and usually red fruits. You can unsubscribe at any time. The holly, or Ilex, genus consists of a large group of evergreen and deciduous trees that range in size from 18 inches to more than 50 feet tall. Chinese holly (I. cornuta), from East Asia, a shrub reaching 3 metres (10 feet), produces scarlet berries among shining evergreen leaves. Omissions? Just one makes an ideal small-space specimen. In general, holly trees can grow between 6 and 18 m (20 and 60 feet) once fully mature, while holly shrubs can grow between 30 cm and 6 m (1 and 20 feet). Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The Eagleston Holly can be used for a variety of landscape settings as either a tall screen or a solitary specimen when grown with a single trunk in tree form. Long ago, the holly tree was considered one of the most sacred trees by the druids in Ireland. This development is related to protecting leaves within reach of browsing animals. There is nothing new about Burford Holly since it is commonly used as a shrub and kept small with pruning. It's rich with magical mythology history Folklores & lore. The margins may or may not be irregularly toothed. Thanks! Holly is a genus of about 480 species of flowering plants. Mate, a tealike beverage common in parts of South America, is made from the leaves of yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis). Introduction: American holly is a broad-leaf evergreen with a beautiful shape, but with a variety of insect and disease problems.The tree offers clusters of red berries that persist throughout fall and winter. It is grown commercially in the Pacific Northwest and commonly used in decorations and floral arrangements as well as in landscapes. Both male and female holly trees exist, but only the female version can bear fruit. ... Tree Type. The female has a fat green ‘boss’ in the middle. Hollies have alternate simple leaves, and the leaves of many species have wavy margins tipped with spines. If you are interested in growing English hollies or just want a few more English holly facts, read on. The evergreen holly was the ruler of the dark winter months, while the oak was the ruler of the lighter summer months. The somewhat taller American holly (I. opaca) has oblong prickly leaves and usually red fruits. The bark of it is smooth, and grayish to grayish-brown. Yaupon (I. vomitoria), a shrubby tree reaching 8 metres (26 feet), bears oval leaves and red berries. The Holly berry is recognized throughout much of the United States as a symbol of the Christmas season; however, the trees branches and berries were used in by Pagan druids who wore Holly leaves on their heads. There are many types (species) of holly. 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