sweet gallberry
Ilex coriacea
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: large gallberry
  • LEAVES: alternate, simple, persistent; 3/4 - 1.5”; broadly oval to obovate; appressed spines on margins
  • FLOWER: perfect, small; white; April to May
  • FRUIT: black, 1/2” diameter, short pedicel 1/2”; smooth seed
  • TWIGS:
  • BARK:
  • FORM: small tree or shrub
  • HABITAT: pocosins, swamps, boggy pine lands
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: Virginia to Florida to Texas
  • USES: good deer browse, but may grow too large for deer; many mammals and birds eat the fruit
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. thick evergreen leaf, margin
    2. spine midleaf to tip
    3. large shrub
    4. wetter sites than gallberry (Ilex glabra)
    5. black fruit

    NOTE: taller, darker leaves, fruit larger than (gallberry) Ilex glabra ; most other Ilex have sessile fruit; sweet gallberry fruit is on a 1/2” stalk