deciduous holly
Ilex decidua Walter
  • LEAVES:deciduous, simple, alternate; blades typically oblanceolate, to ca. 2” long by 1” wide (variable); margins appressed-crenate
  • FLOWER: functionally unisexual and dioecious, born on current year’s growth, staminate flowers born in umbels, pistillate flowers solitary or paired; flowers with 4 (-5) sepals and petals, petals whitish, <0.25” long, flowering in April
  • FRUIT: orange-red globose drupe ca. 1/4" broad, maturing in fall and persisting on plants into winter
  • TWIGS: plants usually have many spur shoots, these often bearing flowers and sometimes with reduced leaves
  • BARK: smooth, gray, mottled
  • FORM: large shrub typically with multiple stems
  • HABITAT: bottomland hardwood forests, mesic rich-soil uplands, present on old and young landscapes
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: southeastern US  [USGS Range Map]  [MAP]
  • USES: ornamental
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. multi-stemmed shrub with smooth gray bark
    2. leaves oblanceolate with crenate margin
    3. abundant spur branches
    4. orange-red drupe (persistent into winter after leaves have fallen)