GENUS CODE: ILEX GENUS SCIENTIFIC:Ilex GENUS AUTHORITY: L. GENUS COMMON: Holly GENUS SUMMARY: A genus of 400-500 species, mostly trees and shrubs, cosmopolitan and widespread in tropical and temperate areas, especially Asia and America. The genus Nemopanthus is clearly best subsumed into Ilex. GENUS IDENTIFICATION: Identification notes: Some of our species can be superficially similar to various shrubs and trees of the Rosaceae, in their alternate toothed leaves borne on spur shoots. GENUS REFERENCES: Godfrey (1988)=Y; Krakow (1989)=Z; Powell et al. (2000)=X; Wunderlin & Poppleton (1977).
FAMILY CODE: AQUIFO FAMILY SCIENTIFIC:Aquifoliaceae FAMILY AUTHORITY: Bartling 1830 FAMILY COMMON: Holly Family FAMILY SUMMARY: A monogeneric family of about 500 species, nearly cosmopolitan. FAMILY REFERENCE:
FRUITING PERIOD: Sep-Oct. DISTRIBUTION
NATIVE RANGE: eastern United States HORTICULTURAL
Plant Sale Text: American holly is an evergreen shrub with dark green leaves. This holly is dioecious (plants are either male or female). The female shrubs have red berries. A male shrub is needed with one male to every three females ideal. Males should be within 200 feet of females. American holly is the larval host plant for Henrys Elfin butterfly and the Ilex genus supports up to 34 species of lepidoptera. The flowers are good for pollinators and the berries for birds and small mammals.
Bloom Table Text:
Sun, Part Shade
MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 5
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 9
Bee Friendly, Butterfly Friendly, Bird Friendly
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016 National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.3 (Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. 2016. The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016. ISSN 2153 733X). Regions: AGCP-Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, AK-Alaska, AW-Arid West, CB-Caribbean, EMP-Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, GP-Great Plains, HI-Hawaii, MW-Midwest, NCNE-Northcentral and Northeast, WMCV-Western Mountains, Valleys & Coast
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Ilex opaca
COMMON NAME: American Holly, Christmas Holly
SYNONYMY: [= S; = I. opaca var. opaca - GW, K2, WH3, Va, Y; < I. opaca - C, F, G, Il, Pa, RAB, W, WV]
PHENOLOGY: Apr-Jun; Sep-Oct.
HABITAT: In a wide variety of forests, ranging from xeric to wetland.
COMMENTS: MA (? NS and ME), IL, MO, and OK south to s. peninsular FL and TX. This is our only species of Ilex that becomes a medium to large tree.
RANGE MAP: Ilex opaca.png
Key to Map SymbolsABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora) Aquifoliaceae Bartling 1830 (Holly Family) SUMMARY: A monogeneric family of about 500 species, nearly cosmopolitan. REFERENCE: ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora) Ilex L. (Holly) SUMMARY: A genus of 400-500 species, mostly trees and shrubs, cosmopolitan and widespread in tropical and temperate areas, especially Asia and America. The genus Nemopanthus is clearly best subsumed into Ilex. REFERENCE: Godfrey (1988)=Y; Krakow (1989)=Z; Powell et al. (2000)=X; Wunderlin & Poppleton (1977).
SERNEC: Find Ilex opaca in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available) UNC SERNEC: Find Ilex opaca in
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)