Ilex opaca American Holly

Height: 15.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest, Thorns
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil, Air Pollution
Ilex opaca, commonly called American holly, is an upright, pyramidal, evergreen tree that slowly matures to 15-30' in cultivation, but may reach 50' tall in the wild. It is native to the eastern and central U.S.  This species is easily identified because it is the only native U.S. holly with spiny green leaves and bright red berries. This is the Christmas holly whose berry-laden boughs are typically collected at Christmas time each year for ornamentation. Thick, leathery, deep green leaves (2-4" long) have spiny marginal teeth. Species is dioecious (male and female flowers are on separate trees). Greenish-white flowers bloom May-June. Bright red fruits ripen in fall on pollinated female trees, and persist on the tree through winter. Birds love the fruit.
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