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American Holly

American Holly Tree
Of the 29 species of North American hollies, American holly is the only tree-sized holly that keeps its leaves through the winter. The American holly is well-known for providing popular decoration around Christmas and the holiday season. Lots of American hollies can be found scattered throughout the Ramble.

Common Name: American Holly

Scientific Name: Ilex opaca

Origin: Eastern and south-central United States

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Size: 33'-66' tall, 18'-40' wide

Form: Pyramidal

Culture: Grows in both dry and swampy soil


Waxy green leaves that are evergreen with one to eight spines on each side and a sharply pointed tip


Greenish white and small


.25" - .5" holly fruits each contain four very hard yellow seeds, provide food for birds in the cold months


Smooth and gray on younger trees, may become ridged and warty over time