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    Vascular Plants of California
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Ilex aquifolium

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AquifoliaceaeView Description 

Habit: Shrub, tree, evergreen [deciduous]; dioecious or +- so. Leaf: generally alternate, simple, often spiny, toothed, or lobed. Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally axillary. Flower: generally unisexual, radial; sepals generally 4, generally fused at base; petals 4, fused at base [free], white [green]; stamens generally 4, generally alternate petals; ovary superior, chambers often 4, generally 1-ovuled, style 0 or terminal, short, stigma head-like or lobed. Fruit: drupe, generally red [purple to black or yellow to +- white]; stones generally 4.
Genera In Family: 4 genera, 300--400 species: tropics, temperate.
eFlora Treatment Author: Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: IlexView Description 

Common Name: HOLLY
Leaf: petioled; adaxially generally shiny. Flower: sepals persistent in fruit; petals oblong or obovate. Fruit: pulpy.
Species In Genus: 300--400 species: especially tropics. Etymology: (Latin: name for Medit holly-oak, Quercus ilex L.) Note: Ilex cornuta Lindl. & Paxton occasionally persisting from cultivation.
Reference: Zika 2010 Madroño 57:1--10

Ilex aquifolium L.
Habit: Shrub, tree, < 20 m. Stem: erect; branches many, branchlets minutely hairy. Leaf: 2.5--6 cm, ovate or oblong-ovate, entire to lobed, even on 1 pl, teeth 0 or widely spaced, stiff, spine-like. Flower: petals 2--3 mm, dull white. Fruit: 7--8 mm wide, smooth.
Ecology: Cool, wooded areas; Elevation: < 200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, KR?, NCoRO, CCo, SnFrB, expected elsewhere; Distribution Outside California: native to Europe, western Asia. Flowering Time: May--Jun Note: Cult since ancient time for showy fruit.
eFlora Treatment Author: Elizabeth McClintock
Reference: Zika 2010 Madroño 57:1--10
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Citation for this treatment: Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Ilex aquifolium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 18, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 18, 2018.

Ilex aquifolium
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© 2010 Vernon Smith

More photos of Ilex aquifolium in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Ilex aquifolium:
NCo, KR?, NCoRO, CCo, SnFrB, expected elsewhere;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.