SelecTree: Tree Detail

Ilex opaca

Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca Ilex opaca

Photo Locations: Cohn Arboretum - Baton Rouge, LA, Louisiana State Arboretum - Ville Platte, LA, San Luis Obispo, CA, Strybing Arboretum - San Francisco, CA, Santa Cruz, CA, Cal Poly State University - San Luis Obispo, CA and the National Arboretum - Washington, DC

General Notes

Resistant to oak root fungus. Wood used for furniture. Also known as Christmas Holly because branches with berries are often used as decorations during the holiday season.

Has thorns.

Native to Eastern United States.

Trees may be referred to as male or female.

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Additional Common Names


Tree Characteristics

Compact and Erect or Spreading with a High Canopy.

Conical or Oval Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 40 - 50 feet.

Width: 20 - 40 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 Inches per Year.

Longevity 50 to 150 years.

Leaves Elliptic to Oval, Glossy Medium Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Inconspicuous. White. Flowers in Spring. Has either male or female flowers (dioecious). Trees may be sold as male or female.

Prolific, Red Drupe, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Fall or Winter Wildlife use it.

Bark Mottled, Dark Gray or Light Gray, Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderately Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Wet Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 2 - 9, 14 - 17 and 19 - 23.

USDA Hardiness Zones 5 - 9.

Exposure Full Sun to Full Shade.

Moist Soil.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Moderate on Coast.

Seaside Tolerance is Not Suited.

Pests & Disease Information

Resistant to Verticillium. Susceptible to Leaf Miner, Scales and Spider Mites, Armillaria, Anthracnose, Canker and Powdery Mildew.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Strong.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Allergy Health Hazard.

Desirable Wildlife Plant.

Attracts Birds and Bees.

Not Deer Palatable.

Wildlife use Fruit.

Special Uses & Values


Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Ilex opaca Tree Record." 1995-2018. Jul 20, 2018.
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