Taxon: Ilex aquifolium L.

Genus: Ilex
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Nomen number: 19666
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 1:125. 1753
Comment: the specific epithet is a noun in apposition, derived from a pre-Linnaean generic name, and retains its own gender and termination irrespective of the gender of the generic name (Melbourne ICN Art. 23.5)
Name Verified on: 06-Nov-1985 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 21-Jan-2014
Species priority site is: National Arboretum (NA)
Accessions: 58 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Environmental: ornamental (fide Econ Pl Aust; Hollies; Invasive Pl Spec)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals (fide Cooper & Johnson ed2; Lampe & McCann)
  • Social: religious/secular (a decorative plant during the December holidays fide Masbberleys Pl Book)
  • Weed: potential seed contaminant (fide Rep NCEPPC; Invasive Pl Spec)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • Northern Africa: Algeria; Morocco; Tunisia
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Western Asia: Iran; Lebanon; Syria; Turkey
  • Europe

    • Northern Europe: United Kingdom
    • Southeastern Europe: Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Italy; Macedonia; Montenegro; Serbia; Slovenia
    • Southwestern Europe: France; Portugal; Spain

  • Naturalized:

  • Australasia

    • Australia: Australia
    • New Zealand: New Zealand
  • Northern America

    • : United States
  • Pacific

    • North-Central Pacific: United States - Hawaii

  • Cultivated:

    . also cult.


  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin). 2009 (Vara kulturvaxt namn)
  • Botanical Society of the British Isles BSBI taxon database (on-line resource). (BSBI)
  • Campbell, F. T., ed. Report of National Coalition of Exotic Plant Pest Councils. 1995 (unpublished draft) (Rep NCEPPC)
  • Cooper, M. R. & A. W. Johnson Poisonous plants and fungi in Britain: animal and human poisoning. 1998 (Cooper & Johnson ed2)
  • Davis, P. H., ed. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. 1965-1988 (F Turk)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage. 1984 (Zander ed13)
  • Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen. 2008 (Zander Ency)
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource). (EuroMed Plantbase)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Galle, F. C. Hollies. The genus Ilex. 1997 (Hollies)
  • Grellin, J. K. & J. Philpott A reference guide to medicinal plants. 1990 (RefGuide MedPl)
  • Greuter, W. et al., eds. Med-Checklist. 1984- (L Medit)
  • Hnatiuk, R. J. Census of Australian vascular plants. Australian Flora and Fauna Series No. 11. 1990 (L Aust)
  • Huxley, A., ed. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. 1992 (Dict Gard)
  • Kartesz, J. T. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 1994 (L US Can ed2)
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. Flora SSSR. 1934-1964 (F USSR)
  • Krüssmann, G. Manual of cultivated broad-leaved trees and shrubs (English translation of Handbuch der Laubgehölze. 1976). 1984 (Krussmann)
  • Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. 1985 (Lampe & McCann)
  • Lazarides, M. & B. Hince CSIRO Handbook of Economic Plants of Australia. 1993 (Econ Pl Aust)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. 1976 (Hortus 3)
  • Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley's plant-book: a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses, third edition. 2008 (Mabberleys Pl Book) 428.
  • Meyer, F. G. et al. A catalog of cultivated woody plants of the southeastern United States. 1994 (L CultWPl SE US)
  • Moerman, D. Native American ethnobotany, ed. 5. 1998 (Nat Amer Ethnobot)
  • Munro, D. B. Canadian poisonous plants information system (on-line resource). (Can Poison Pl)
  • Rehder, A. Bibliography of cultivated trees and shrubs. 1949 (Rehder)
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea. 1964-1980 (F Eur)
  • Weber, E. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. 2003 (Invasive Pl Spec)
  • Wiersema, J. H. & B. León World economic plants: a standard reference (on-line edition) [medicinal plants only]. (World Econ Pl Med)


Check other web resources for Ilex aquifolium L. :

  • Flora Europaea: Database of European Plants (ESFEDS)
  • PLANTS: USDA-NRCS Database of Plants of the United States and its Territories
  • BONAP North American Plant Atlas of the Biota of North America Program:
  • AVH: Australia's Virtual Herbarium
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ICRA: International Cultivar Registration Authority (on-line resource). for Ilex aquifolium cultivars
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image