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Campus Gardens

Ilex opaca
American holly
Family: Aquifoliaceae

Ilex opaca is a broad-leaved evergreen tree reaching 40ft tall with a spread of about 20ft at maturity and growing about 12-18' annually. It has a pyramid growth shape. This evergreen tree has broad leaves with red or yellow berries as their fruit. This native holly has great ornamental value because of its brightly red colored berries and the prickly green foliage. It is interesting that this tree is "dioecious". These trees are either male or female with berries developing only on female trees. A male tree within a quarter of a mile can provide pollia via bees to pollinate a female flower for fruit production. Numerous large native American holly are in lawns and woods on campus and cultivated specimens can be seen below the auditorium and in the Administration garden. Hardy in zones 5-9.

Shauna Ahearn


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