Ilex aquifolium
Common name: 
English Holly
I-leks a-kwi-FO-li-um
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub/tree, 30-50 ft (9-15 m), dense, pyramidal.  Leaves, alternate, simple, 2.5-7.5 cm long and 2-6.5 cm wide, lustrous dark green, undulating, spiny-margins; juvenile leaves very spiny, adult leaves less so.  Dull white fragrant flowers appear in spring, usually dioecious --- male and female plants.  Fruit bright red, 6 mm diam, persists into winter.
  • Sun or partial shade. Needs protection from sun in hot, dry areas.  For good fruit set a male shrub is needed.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7     Native range from the British Isles to southern and central Europe.  Grown commercially in the Pacific Northwest, but not common in the eastern U.S.
  • Over 200 cultivars!  They may be grouped as non-variegated (green-leaved) or variegated.   The leaves in the latter group have may have whitish (silver-leaved) margins or yellowish (golden-leaved) margins or central blotches, or spots.
  • aquifolium: classical name for holly.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: NE corner Hovland Hall.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaves, juvenile

    leaves, juvenile

  • flowers, female and male

    flowers, female and male

  • leaves and immature fruit

    leaves and immature fruit

  • foliage and ripe fruit

    foliage and ripe fruit

  • fruiting branch

    fruiting branch

  • shoots, juvenile and adult

    shoots, juvenile and adult