common holly tree
The shape of the trees themselves may be conical, oval or rounded. Ilex aquifolium was once among the traditional woods for Great Highland bagpipes before tastes turned to imported dense tropical woods such as cocuswood, ebony, and African blackwood. English holly grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 9, and grows to about 35 feet.  Hollies are often used for hedges; the spiny leaves make them difficult to penetrate, and they take well to pruning and shaping. Ilex aquifolium grows to 10–25 m (33–82 ft) tall with a woody stem as wide as 40–80 cm (16–31 in), rarely 100 cm (39 in) or more, in diameter. Both varieties have the spiky evergreen foliage and red berries for which holly trees are typically known. [clarification needed] Most of the last remaining laurel forests around the Mediterranean are believed to have died out approximately 10,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene. Each fruit contains 3 to 4 seeds which do not germinate until the second or third spring. The plant is common in the garrigue and maquis and is also found in deciduous forest and oak forest. In male specimens, the flowers are yellowish and appear in axillary groups. Ilex aquifolium is the species of holly long associated with Christmas, and previously the Roman festival of Saturnalia. The holly family (Ilex spp.) They are eaten by rodents, birds and larger herbivores. It is an evergreen tree or shrub found, for example, in shady areas of forests of oak and in beech hedges. Species of flowering plant in the family Aquifoliaceae, "Common holly" redirects here. The tree-sized hollies range from … Varieties. Yaupon (I. vomitoria), a shrubby tree reaching 8 metres (26 feet), bears oval leaves and red berries. In the British Isles it is one of very few native evergreen trees.  The berries are generally regarded as toxic to humans. There ar… Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Several species are cultivated as ornamentals for their distinctive foliage and red or black fruits, which persist into winter and are popular Christmas decorations. Holly (Ilex spp.) The modern Ilex aquifolium resulted from this change. Hollies range from small shrubs to medium-sized trees. A number of holly species are listed as endangered species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and at least one, I. gardneriana, is extinct because of habitat loss. Ilex aquifolium, the holly, common holly, English holly, European holly, or occasionally Christmas holly, is a species of flowering plant in the family Aquifoliaceae, native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia.  The leaves of yerba mate, also in the genus Ilex, are used to make a caffeinated beverage, called mate or Paraguayan tea. The fruits are drupes and are an important winter food for many bird species; most are not safe for human consumption. Holly berries form in fall and winter; they are typically bright red but may also be blue, black, white, orange or yellow. Some holly trees also have oval or spear-shaped leaves, and variegated varieties are available with patches of white in the foliage. The berries are emetic, possibly due to the compound, ilicin, though caffeine and theobromine found in the plant are toxic generally to dogs and cats. This article was most recently revised and updated by, Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Gardening Australia - Ilex, holly - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), holly - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The fruit is a drupe (stone fruit), about 6–10 mm in diameter, a bright red or bright yellow, which matures around October or November; at this time they are very bitter due to the ilicin content and so are rarely eaten until late winter after frost has made them softer and more palatable. Facts About Holly Trees Identification. English holly (I. aquifolium), a tree growing to 15 metres (nearly 50 feet) tall, bears shining spiny dark evergreen leaves and usually red fruits. There are spineless and yellow-fruited forms of both species. The somewhat taller American holly ( I. opaca) has oblong prickly leaves and usually red fruits. American holly grows in zones 5 to 9, and can potentially reach as high as 50 feet.  It is regarded as the type species of the genus Ilex, which by association is also called "holly". It is regarded as the type species of the genus Ilex, which by association is also called "holly". Ilex aquifolium, the holly, common holly, English holly, European holly, or occasionally Christmas holly, is a species of flowering plant in the family Aquifoliaceae, native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia. Ilex /ˈaɪlɛks/, or holly, is a genus of about 480 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family. The leaves may be hard and spiny or soft to the touch.  Accidental consumption may occur by children or pets attracted to the bright red berries. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. It is an invasive species on the West Coast of Canada and the United States as well as in Hawaii. With so much variation in holly varieties, youre sure to find one to fill your landscape need. The somewhat taller American holly (I. opaca) has oblong prickly leaves and usually red fruits. They will also tolerate light shade. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is an evergreen tree or shrub found, for example, in shady areas of forests of oak and in beech hedges. Hollies range from small shrubs to medium-sized trees. It is native to eastern North America, as is the deciduous winterberry (I. verticillata). But in the holly genus there are hundreds of species, including a large number of trees. Departamento de Farmacognosia, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, Uruguay, Noviembre: 2007, pages 1–15, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T202963A68067360.en, "Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board", https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/34460?a=322280, "RHS Plant Selector Ilex aquifolium AGM / RHS Gardening", "RHS Plant Selector Ilex aquifolium 'Amber' (f) AGM / RHS Gardening", "RHS Plant Selector Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Marginata' (f/v) AGM / RHS Gardening", "RHS Plant Selector Ilex aquifolium 'Ferox Argentea' (m/v) AGM / RHS Gardening", "RHS Plant Selector Ilex aquifolium 'Golden Queen' (m/v) AGM / RHS Gardening", "RHS Plant Selector Ilex aquifolium 'Handsworth New Silver' (f/v) AGM / RHS Gardening", "RHS Plant Selector Ilex aquifolium 'J.C. In the female, flowers are isolated or in groups of three and are small and white or slightly pink, and consist of four petals and four sepals partially fused at the base. The flowers are white, four-lobed, and pollinated by bees. It has a great capacity to a… , Ilex aquifolium is widely grown in parks and gardens in temperate regions. Lets take a look at some of the different types of hollies. Holly branches have long been used to decorate homes in winter. In the young and in the lower limbs of mature trees, the leaves have three to five sharp spines on each side, pointing alternately upward and downward, while leaves of the upper branches in mature trees lack spines.. Between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, before the introduction of turnips, Ilex aquifolium was cultivated for use as winter fodder for cattle and sheep. The commonly-encountered pale patches on leaves are due to the leaf-mine insect Phytomyza ilicis.
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