Ilex opaca, American Holly

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

In the 1930s Delaware surpassed all states in producing decorations made of American Holly, which flourished in its countryside and became its State Tree in 1939. Still common in the Coastal Plain and southeastern Pennsylvania, its frequency lessens moving through  the Piedmont into the mountains of Maryland and Virginia. Today commercial demand for holly has declined, but its value in the landscape has not. It comes into its glory as temperatures drop and berry-like fruits ripen to brighten the winter scenery.

Print version: Ilex opaca, American Holly Ilex opaca, American Holly

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets

Tags: Ilex cornuta – Chinese Holly, Ilex aquifolium – English Holly, X Cupressocyparis leylandii – Leyland Cypress, Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-9, Use as specimen or tall hedge, Plant 1 male for every 3 females (of same species
with same bloom time) within 200 feet of each other, Attracts at least 18 bird species and deer to fruit; provides cover and nesting sites for some birds, Winter interest; used for holiday decorations, Brilliant red berry-like drupes October to winter; separate male plant needed for females to bear fruit, Inconspicuous greenish white flowers in May