Holly, English, Ilex aquifolium
Aquifoliaceae – Holly family
This is an invasive species that needs to be eradicated in our area.
The holly leaves (“folium”) are pointed sharply like the talon of an eagle (“aquila”) and serve as the basis for both the family and specific names. The generic name is derived from the Latin name for the Mediterranean holly oak, Quercus ilex.
English holly is widely cultivated for its landscaping virtues. Since only female trees produce the bright red berries that make holly wreaths so attractive, male holly is often grafted onto a female plant to assure fertile berries. These berries are poisonous to humans, but not for birds who are responsible for seeding the holly widely in the woods and neighborhoods. Left unattended in the woods, hollies become gradually enlarging impenetrable thickets as the pendulous lower branches spread along the ground and take root.
Here’s a link for more information on how to eradicate this non-native, invasive plant https://weedwise.conservationdistrict.org/contact
Information courtesy of “The View From Springbrook Park; an Illustrated Natural History” by Ed Chinn.
Photos taken by Laura Tanz
Sponsored by Friends of Springbrook Park; Lake Oswego, OR