English holly
Ilex aquifolium L.


Ilex aquifolium is a large evergreen tree or shrub that can grow from 15-50 ft. (4.6-15.2 m) tall. Bark is smooth and can be grey to black in color.
Leaves are alternate, thick, dark green, glossy, wavy, 1-3 in. (2.5-7.6 cm) long with sharp stout spines.
Flowers are small, white, fragrant, and found in clusters. The blooming period occurs in late Spring and early summer from May to June.
The berries are bright red to orange and yellow in color and 0.31 in. (8 mm) across. Each berry contains 4 seeds. Fruit ripens from August to October.
Ecological Threat
Ilex aquifolium can grow in shaded or sunny areas and is often found in forests. It is native to south and central Europe.

Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Celastrales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Subject: Ilex aquifolium L.


Plants - Hardwood Trees