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American Holly

The American holly plant
American Holly

Common Name: American Holly

Botanical Name: Ilex opaca

American Holly leaves

Plant family: Aquifolicaeae

Location: East Terrace Switchback, North Forest Trail, Tulip Tree Trail

Growing zone: 5-9

Height: 40-50 ft.

Spread: 18-30 ft.

Bloom time: 18-30 ft.

Bloom description: Male flowers have four white, rounded petals with dull white stamens. Females have small, green, rounded pistils and sterile stamens. Male and female flowers grow on separate plants.

Leaf type: Dark, evergreen leaves are 1-3 in. long with 7-8 sharp, spiny teeth along the margins of each side.

Garden uses: This evergreen tree works well as a specimen plant or for a mass planting to use as a native privacy screen. Must use a male and a female plant in order to produce fruit. Prefers a site with an acidic, moist, well-drained soil in part-shade to full sun.

Wildlife benefits: Fruits are eaten by many gamebirds, fruit-eating songbirds, and small mammals.