Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Asterids: Campanulids: Aquifoliales
Dig deeper at SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria.
You may also want to check Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina
Read more about American Holly at Vascular Plants of North Carolina.
SYNONYMOUS WITH Trees, Shrubs, Woody Vines of north Florida & adjacent GA & AL (Godfrey, 1988)
Ilex opaca var. opaca
INCLUDED WITHIN VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968) 112-01-001:
Ilex opaca FAMILY Aquifoliaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
American Holly, Christmas Holly
To see larger pictures, click or hover over the thumbnails.
Richard and Teresa Ware rtw_ilex_opaca_4
Fruit a nearly globose drupe, maturing in autumn & persisting til flowering, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide (Kirkman, Brown, & Leopold, 2007).
Sam Pratt sbp_20140418_122225
April Sevier County TN
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Leaf blades stiff, leathery, margins wavy to sharply spine-toothed, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide (Kirkman, Brown, & Leopold, 2007).
JK Marlow jkm080510_014
May Greenville County SC
Male flowers have fertile stamens and lack ovaries.
JK Marlow jkm0212b_17
December Greenville County SC
Our only Ilex species that becomes a medium to large tree, per Weakley's Flora.
Trees, Shrubs, Woody Vines of north Florida & adjacent GA & AL (Godfrey, 1988)
Ilex opaca var. opaca
Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
Habitat: In a wide variety of forests, ranging from xeric to wetland, per Weakley's Flora
Native to the Carolinas & Georgia
CLICK HERE to see a map, notes, and images from Weakley's Flora of the Southeastern US.
Click here to see a map showing all occurrences known to SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria. (Zoom in to see more detail.)
IS THE PLANT "ARMED"?
Leaves with well-developed, apical, 2-6mm spine (& usually also marginal spines)
TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!
- Forest Plants of the Southeast and Their Wildlife Uses (Miller & Miller, 2005) p350
- Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Wasowski & Wasowski, 1994, 2020) p035
- Gardening with the Native Plants of Tennessee (Hunter, 2002) p293
- Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers (Campbell, Hutson, Sharp, & Hutson, 1962) p130
- Guide to the Wildflowers of SC, 1st ed. (Porcher & Rayner, 2001) p304
- Guide to the Wildflowers of SC, 2nd ed. (McMillan, Porcher, Rayner, & White; 2022) p459
- Landscaping with Native Trees (Sternberg & Wilson, 1995) p127
- Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of the Southeast (Foote & Jones, 1989) p087
- Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide (Kirkman, Brown, & Leopold, 2007) p080
- Trees of the Southeastern United States (Duncan & Duncan, 1988) p216
- Wild Flowers of NC, 2nd edition (Justice, Bell, & Lindsey, 2005) p143
- Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge (Lance) p34
- Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (Spira, 2011) p239
- Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide (Lance, 2004) p172
If a search such as "Carex leptalea var. leptalea" doesn't deliver the results you want, try "Carex leptalea".
Or, to minimize chances of a misspelling, try just "Carex le".
Less is more: If "pencil flower" doesn't deliver the results you want, try "pencil".