Possumhaw Deciduous Holly

Possumhaw Deciduous Holly

P-holly-wa

Common name: Possum Haw, Possumhaw holly, Deciduous holly, Bearberry, Meadow Holly, Prairie Holly, Swamp Holly, Welk Holly, Winterberry

Botanical name: Ilex decidua

Characteristics

Size: 8 to 30 feet tall, 6 to10 feet wide

Flowers: inconspicuous yellow-green

Fruit time: on female plants, outstanding red or orange berries last throughout the fall and winter

Leaves: dark green glossy oval toothed leaves, turn yellow before dropping

 

General information: This small deciduous tree or large shrub, a Texas native, is fairly nondescript in the summer, however once leaves drop in the fall, the female plants retain outstanding red or orange berries, providing a blaze of color in the landscape. This holly is designated as a Texas Superstar®.

Pests and Disease Problems: generally disease resistant

Growing in North Texas: Possumhaw can adapt to a wide range of soil conditions. It can be grown in the shade, but will fruit (produce berries) best in partial shade to full sun. Females need a male pollinator for a good fruit set. Small mammals, songbirds, and gamebirds will eat the fruit in winter.

Note: cut branches may be enjoyed indoors as holiday decorations

Warnings: may produce unwanted suckers from the roots that require maintenance

References:

Aggie Horticulture. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/natives/ILEXDECIDUA.HTM

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database. http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ILDE

Texas Superstar®

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