Go Native—Grow Native

Submitted by Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society

Detail of American holly foliage and fruit. Photo by Betsy Washington

American holly, Ilex opaca

The American holly, Ilex opaca, is one of our few broadleaf evergreen trees in the Northern Neck and is a fabulous landscape plant for our gardens.

Hollies have long been a symbol of renewal and life during the depths of winter. They light up the gray and brown winter landscape of our coastal woodlands with their lustrous green leaves that catch the winter light and their scarlet berries. Old hollies in the wild can reach up to 50 feet or more in height with a trunk diameter of up to 1.5 feet, but in our gardens they rarely reach…

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