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Ilex aquifolium L.
Family Aquifoliaceae
Common name: English holly, common holly, holly

Ilex aquifolium L. APNI*

Description: Shrub or small tree to 10 (-15) m high, new growth and inflorescences pubescent.

Leaves ± oblong-elliptic, 3–11 cm long, 2.5–5 cm wide, margins usually undulate and mostly with 5–9 spinose teeth but sometimes margins entire and ± flat, especially on upper branches of old trees; leathery, upper surface dark green and glossy, lower surface paler and duller; petiole 5–15 mm long, grooved.

Cymes 3-flowered, clustered in axils, rarely female flowers solitary; pedicels to 2 mm long. Sepals c. 1.5 mm long. Petals 2–5 mm long, white or pinkish.

Drupe globose or ovoid, 7–10 mm diam., bright red.


Photo © ANBG

Flowering: mainly autumn.

Distribution and occurrence: Often cultivated in cooler areas, occasionally naturalised in the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and the A.C.T. Native of Europe.
NSW subdivisions: *CT, *ST
Other Australian states: *S.A. *Vic. *Tas.
AVH map***

See also Hawkesbury-Nepean Wetland Series fact sheet, Weeds of Blue Mountains Bushland (bush invader), Weeds Australia profile and Queensland Government Weeds of Australia fact sheet.

Text by W.K. Allen; revised by P.G. Kodela (July 2012)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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