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The hollies— genus Ilex—include almost 400 species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees that occur in temperate and tropical regions of both hemispheres (Brown and Kirkman 1990). About 20 species are native to eastern North America. Of the 7 species included in this book (table 1), most are highly valued for ornamental plantings and all are good food sources for wildlife. More than a thousand cultivars of American holly have been selected for their ornamental features (Grelen 1990). This species also hybridizes with dahoon (Ilex cassine L.) to produce Topel holly (I. × attenuata Ashe) (Little 1979). The wood of American holly is also used in cabinetry and for construction of novelties and specialized wood products (Vines 1960).

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Author(s): Franklin T. Bonner

Publication: Woody Plant Seed Manual - Part 2 - Genera (A-Z)