Ilex verticillata (L.) A. Gray

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Ilex verticillata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/ilex/ilex-verticillata/). Accessed 2020-04-10.

Genus

Synonyms

  • Prinos verticillatus L.

Glossary

calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
lanceolate
Lance-shaped; broadest in middle tapering to point.
midrib
midveinCentral and principal vein in a leaf.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Ilex verticillata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/ilex/ilex-verticillata/). Accessed 2020-04-10.

A deciduous shrub 6 to 10 ft high, of spreading habit; young shoots glabrous. Leaves oval, obovate, or lanceolate, tapered at both ends, 112 to 3 in. long 12 to 1 in. wide, shallowly and often doubly toothed, glabrous above, downy beneath, especially on the midrib and veins; stalk 14 to 12 in. long. Male flowers in clusters of six or more in the leaf-axils; female ones fewer. Calyx edged with small hairs. Fruits often solitary or in pairs, bright red (or, in f. chrysocarpa Robins., yellow), 14 in. wide, round.

Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1736. This is the most ornamental of the American deciduous hollies, and is frequently very showy in autumn with the glossy scarlet berries, which are in full colour before the leaves fall. It received an Award of Merit when shown from Kew on 6 November 1962. The only species with which it is likely to be confused is I. laevigata (q.v.), a species which also has red berries and is deciduous. That species differs from I. verticillata by its glabrous or nearly glabrous leaves; its male flowers being borne on long and slender stalks; its calyx margins not being hairy; and by its solitary fruits. I. verticillata is somewhat variable, and American botanists distinguish the following varieties:

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

At least one British nurseryman offers male and female plants of this holly, which is one of the most ornamental of the genus in its fruits.


var. fastigiata (Bickn.) Fern

Branches more ascending. Leaves narrowly lanceolate, glabrous or nearly so.

var. padifolia (Willd.) Torr. & Gr

Leaves downy all over the lower surface.

var. tenuifolia (Torr.) S. Wats

Leaves thinner and less downy than in the type. Female flowers more often solitary.The garden variety ‘Nana’, raised in the USA, is of dwarf habit and bears large fruits (Wyman, Shrubs and Vines for American Gardens (1965), p. 258). ‘Xmas Cheer’ is a free-fruiting selection.

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