Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ilex decidua


One of many native hollies found in the Southeast, this one is known as Possumhaw holly. As the scientific names suggests, it's a deciduous holly which grows to around 8 feet tall. They are very beautiful in winter when their limbs are bare of leaves but covered in red berries. The leaves are an inch or two long with a scalloped edge and have a slightly thick and rubbery feel. Notice how they are arranged on "short shoots" or spurs along the main branch. Like many hollies, Possumhaw is dioecious , meaning it has separate male and female flowers which occur on separate plants. The picture is of a female flower.

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