Evergreen or deciduous shrubs or small trees. Twigs slender, often developed as spurs with densely crowded leaf-scars; pith small, continuous. Buds small, usually superposed, sessile. Leaf-scars alternate, crescent-shaped; bundle-traces 1; stipule-scars minute. Fruit fleshy, red (or sometimes yellow), composed of 4 to 6 hard nutlets which fit together somewhat like the sections of an orange; this might be regarded as a several-seeded drupe (see p. 11 ).

Fig, 182. Ilex opaca

Fig, 182. Ilex opaca.

Fig. 183. Ilex collina

Fig. 183. Ilex collina.

Fig. 184. Ilex montana

Fig. 184. Ilex montana.

Fig. 185. Ilex verticillata

Fig. 185. Ilex verticillata.

Fig. 186. Ilex glabra

Fig. 186. Ilex glabra.


Leaves evergreen

b. Leaves 0.4-1 cm. long


I. opaca

b. Leaves 1.5-5 cm. long


I. glabra


Leaves deciduous

b. Buds more or less appressed

c. Buds glabrous except at apex; fruits on short stalks


I. montana

c. Buds pubescent; fruits on long stalks


I. collina

1. I. opaca Ait. American Holly. Small tree, 6-20 m. high, bark close, rough, gray, with inconspicuous lenticels; twigs slender; buds short, blunt, downy; leaves evergreen, elliptical, thick, 5-10 cm. long, smooth, with wavy margin and remote spiny teeth or occasionally entire; fruit red or sometimes yellow, 7-10 mm. in diameter. Moist woods, Florida to Texas, north to Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Oklahoma (Fig. 182).

2. I. collina Alexander. Long-stalked Holly. Shrub or small tree 3-4 m. tall; branches spreading, bark smooth, gray; twigs gray, glabrous; buds somewhat appressed, pubescent; lenticels conspicuous; fruits red, rarely yellow, 7-10 mm. in diameter. Woods, Virginia and West Virginia (Fig. 183).

3. I. montana T. and G. Mountain Holly. Shrub or small tree, up to 8 m. high; bark thin, rough and warty, brownish-gray, with numerous lenticels; twigs smooth, reddish-brown, becoming gray, enlarged at the nodes, with decurrent ridges running down from the leaf-scars; buds appressed, pointed, 2 mm. long, the scales ovate, keeled, sharp-pointed, light-brown, finely hairy at the apex; fruits red, about 1 cm. in diameter. Moist woods, in the mountains, New York to Georgia and Tennessee; also in Japan (Fig. 184 ).

4. I. verticillata (L.) Gray. Black-Alder. Winterberry. Whorled Holly. Shrub or small tree 0. 5-6 m. high; bark smooth, ashen; twigs slender, smooth or slightly pubescent; buds spreading, blunt, the scales obtuse; fruits rad, rarely yellow, 5-7 mm. in diameter, so crowded as to appear whorled. Moist soil, Newfoundland to Minnesota, south to Georgia and Missouri (Fig. 185).

5. I. glabra (L.) Gray. Inkberry. Gallberry. A shrub to 3 m. high; branchlets ashy-puberulent; leaves evergreen, coriaceous, lustrous, lanceolate to oblong, mostly blunt, crenate or crenate-serrate, 1. 5-5 cm. long, 0.7-2 cm. wide; drupes black, globose, 6 mm. in diameter. Sandy soil, in the coastal plain, Louisiana to Florida, north to Nova Scotia (Fig. 186).