Happy Holly-days

December 2013

American Holly (Ilex opaca)

Decorating with holly dates all the way back to the Romans, who used the plant to decorate during their celebration of the Winter Solstice

The female holly plant is the one that produces the red berries it is known for. The male holly plant only produces flower clusters.

The American Holly is the only plant in the Holly group that can grow into tree size. Some can grow up to 50 feet tall.

The berries of the holly plant can be poisonous to humans.

The berries are a popular source of food for birds like thrushes, mockingbirds and bluebirds.

Holly berries are usually red, but can also be black, yellow, blue, orange and white.

The white wood from the American Holly tree is used to make chess pieces.