A frequent evergreen shrub or small tree of hammocks, swamps, flatwoods and dunes throughout the panhandle and into the central peninsula almost to Lake Okeechobee. Not present in all inland counties. The range extends throughout the southeastern coastal states from Virginia to Texas, plus Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Growing to 8 m (26 ft.) tall, with small white flowers appearing in the leaf axils in spring, and bright red round berries 5-7 mm (~1/4 in.) in diameter in the fall and winter. The stiff leaves are alternate, elliptic to oval, and the margins are crenate all the way around. Leaves are typically 0.5-3 cm (0.2-1.2 in.) long and 0.5-2.4 cm (0.2-1 in.) wide, although occasionally plants will have much larger leaves.
This is a widely used landscape plant that requires well drained soil and is tolerant of shade. Since hollies are dioecious plants - meaning that each plant is either male or female - to assure that you will have berries both a male and female plant must be present. The male and female flowers appear superficially similar, although the male flowers typically grow in clusters of 5-10 in the leaf axils, while female flowers are usually only 3-5 per cluster. Close inspection will reveal a small roundish green ovary with a cap-like stigma in the center of the female flowers.
Ilex vomitoria is a member of the Aquifoliaceae - Holly family.
Other species of the Ilex genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
View Ilex ambigua var. ambigua - CAROLINA HOLLY
View Ilex opaca var. arenicola - SCRUB HOLLY
Trees of Eastern North America Gil Nelson; Christopher J. Earle; Richard Spellenberg; Amy K. Hughes(ed.) ; David More(ill.)
Covering 825 species, more than any comparable field guide, Trees of Eastern North America is the most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use book of its kind.
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Presenting all the native and naturalized trees of the eastern United States and Canada as far west as the Great Plains--including those species found only in tropical and subtropical Florida and northernmost Canada--the book features superior descriptions; thousands of meticulous color paintings by David More that illustrate important visual details; range maps that provide a thumbnail view of distribution for each native species; "Quick ID" summaries; a user-friendly layout; scientific and common names; the latest taxonomy; information on the most recently naturalized species; keys to leaves and twigs; and an introduction to tree identification, forest ecology, and plant classification and structure. The easy-to-read descriptions present details of size, shape, growth habit, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, flowering and fruiting times, habitat, and range. Using a broad definition of a tree, the book covers many small, overlooked species normally thought of as shrubs. With its unmatched combination of breadth and depth, this is an essential guide for every tree lover.
The most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use field guide to the trees of eastern North America
Covers 825 species, more than any comparable guide, including all the native and naturalized trees of the United States and Canada as far west as the Great Plains
Features specially commissioned artwork, detailed descriptions, range maps for native species, up-to-date taxonomy and names, and much, much more
An essential guide for every tree lover