Ilex opaca
American Holly

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Butterfly FriendlyDeer ResistantRain GardenPart ShadeFall Color
DESCRIPTION
American Holly
Ilex opaca

American holly is a much-loved evergreen tree that has become a symbol for winter holidays. In the fall, over 20 different species of birds including cedar waxwings, robins, catbirds, and mockingbirds, flock to the trees to dine on the berries. The dense branching provides cover for songbirds and other wildlife. Plant them in slightly acidic, well-drained soil in sun or part shade. Avoid extremely dry, windy sites. This holly is pretty enough to stand alone but small groups of these trees really look spectacular. 

BENEFITS
Small greenish white flowers bloom in spring
Attracts butterflies, host plant for Henrys Elfin butterfly
Bright red berries attract 20 different species of birds
Dense branching provides cover for birds and other wildlife
Attractive evergreen foliage, nice for privacy
Great for holiday decorating!
NATIVE INFO

Native Range

Found in shaded woods, stream and river banks, uplands and in lowlands. Primarily an understory tree.

Interesting Facts

When the pilgrims arrived in this country and saw our native holly, the evergreen leaves and red berries reminded them of their native English holly. They began using this plant in holiday decorations and gave it the nickname Christmas holly. 

GROWING TIPS

Does best in acidic, well-drained soils with plenty of organic matter. Will grow in sun or partial shade. It needs no pruning and is generally pest-free. In order to get berries you will need a male plant to pollinate the female. One male plant is enough to pollinate several female plants.

Mature Size: 15-30ft. Wide x 5-15ft. Tall

Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Sun Exposure: Part Shade

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