Sometimes a tree. Generally a tall shrub found in the Catskills and in mountain woods along the Alleghanies. Leaves, 2 to 6 inches long, thin, serrate, petioled, ovate, tapering to a point at apex, obtuse at base. Flowers, fertile, generally single; sterile, clustered. Berries, red, large for the genus.

The holly so much used at Christmas time is cut from a tree, I. opaca, found all along the coast from Massachusetts to Florida. The leaves are evergreen, spiny-toothed, and berries small, bright red. The English holly is prettier, with very glossy leaves and many red berries.