English Holly

Ilex aquifolium

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Note insects
Green Holly Berry
In mid summer the berries are very green.
holly berry
Red Holly Berry

This is what we would call English Holly. It grows well in Western Oregon--well enough to be an invasive species. The bright red berries are popular with Stellar Jays in early spring and the seeds are widely transported. While it is said to have been cultivated in Europe for livestock fodder, cattle and various native grazing animals (deer and elk) seem to have little interest in it.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Holly tree relates to its sex life. There are distinctly male and female holly trees. Although both have flowers, only the female trees have berries as different parts of the flower become sexually functional. Plants of this type are said to be Dioecious (meaning "two houses" in Greek); all plants are either female or male. This is a fairly uncommon feature of plants being a feature in only about 7% of the flowering plant species.

Additional information: see Wikpedia - English Holly

- - Updated 09/05/2016
- - Updated 12/20/2012
- - Updated 6/19/2011