Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

name = "Ilex aquifolium"

image_width = 240px
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Aquifoliales
familia = Aquifoliaceae
genus = "Ilex"
species = "I. aquifolium"
binomial = "Ilex aquifolium"
binomial_authority = L.

"Ilex aquifolium" (Holly, or European Holly to distinguish it from related species) is a species of holly native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa and southwest Asia.Flora Europaea: [ "Ilex aquifolium"] ] Med-Checklist: [ "Ilex aquifolium"] ] Rushforth, K. (1999). "Trees of Britain and Europe". Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.] Flora of NW Europe: [ "Ilex aquifolium"] ]

It is an evergreen tree growing to 10-25 m tall and 40-80 cm (rarely 1 m or more) trunk diameter, with smooth grey bark. The leaves are 5-12 cm long and 2-6 cm broad, variable in shape; on young plants and low branches, with three to five sharp spines on each side, pointing alternately upward and downward; on higher branches of older trees with few or no spines except for the leaf tip, often entire.

The flowers are dioecious, white, four-lobed, and pollinated by bees. The fruit is a red drupe 6-10 mm diameter, containing four pits; although mature in late autumn, they are very bitter so are rarely touched by birds until late winter after frost has made them softer and more palatable. They are slightly poisonous for people.

Cultivation and uses

European Holly (Gaelic: "cuileann") was traditionally the most sacred tree to druids and associated as the ruler of winter, ending on winter solstice. For pre-Christian pagan Romans, Holly was considered the plant of the God Saturn, celebrated at the Feast of Sol Invictus on December 25th. As a result, European Holly has always traditionally had a strong association with Christmas.

It is also a very popular ornamental tree in its native range. Dozens of cultivars have been selected, including plants with variegated, yellow, contorted, thornless, or exceptionally thorny leaves. Female clones are particularly popular, with the shoots with berries being used as a traditional Christmas decoration.

The wood is heavy, hard and white; one traditional use is (together with ebony) for chess pieces, with holly for the white pieces, and ebony for the black. Other uses include turnery, inlay work and as firewood.Vedel, H., & Lange, J. (1960). "Trees and Bushes in Wood and Hedgerow". Metheun & Co. Ltd., London.]

Outside of its native range, European Holly has been widely planted in New Zealand, the cooler areas of Australia, and the Pacific Northwest of North America; in all of these areas, concern has been expressed over its becoming an invasive species harming local native vegetation.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ilex aquifolium — Houx Pour les articles homonymes, voir Houx (homonymie) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ilex aquifolium — «Acebo» redirige aquí. Para otras acepciones, véase Acebo (desambiguación).   Acebo común …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ilex aquifolium — Europäische Stechpalme Europäische Stechpalme, oder Gemeine Stechpalme, (Ilex aquifolium), Illustration. Systematik Klasse …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ilex aquifolium — dygialapis bugienis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Bugieninių šeimos dekoratyvinis, vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Ilex aquifolium), paplitęs pietų Europoje, šiaurės Afrikoje ir pietvakarių Azijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Ilex aquifolium angl.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Ilex Aquifolium — Holly Hol ly (h[o^]l l[y^]), n. [OE holi, holin, AS. holen, holegn; akin to D. & G. hulst, OHG. huls hulis, W. celyn, Armor. kelen, Gael. cuilionn, Ir. cuileann. Cf. 1st {Holm}, {Hulver}.] 1. (Bot.) A tree or shrub of the genus {Ilex}. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ilex aquifolium — ID 42182 Symbol Key ILAQ80 Common Name English holly Family Aquifoliaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Introduced to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution CA, HI, OR, WA Growth Habit Tree, Shrub …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Ilex aquifolium — Es el Acebo un arbusto o como mucho un pequeño árbol de unos 6 ó 7 metros de altura con tronco recto, porte piramidal, que se ramifica desde la base y que puede llegar a vivir 500 años, aunque normalmente no llega a los 100 …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Ilex aquifolium — Alm kristtorn …   Danske encyklopædi

  • Ilex aquifolium L. — Symbol ILAQ80 Common Name English holly Botanical Family Aquifoliaceae …   Scientific plant list

  • Илекс аквифолиум - Ilex aquifolium, Падуб колючий, Американский остролист — Из семейства падубовых. Родом из Южного Китая, встречается в Европе в предгорьях Альп, в Северной Америке. Культивируется на Кавказе, Украине. Вечнозеленое кустарниковое деревце высотой 1 5 м. Листья кожистые, острозазубренные, колючие. Цветки… …   Справочник по гомеопатии

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