Flora Pittsburghensis.

American Holly (Ilex opaca)

Ilex opaca Photographed May 12.

The main range of American Holly is to the south of Pittsburgh, but there are scattered populations here and there outside the range. One of those places is in Allegheny County, where we sometimes find American Holly in the woods. This bush was blooming in Bird Park in Mount Lebanon.

Flowers of American Holly

Holly berry

Some of last year’s berries hold on into the flowering season.

Flowers of Ilex opaca

Gray describes the genus and the species:

ILEX L. Holly. Calyx 4-6-toothed. Petals 4-6, separate or united only at the base, oval or obovate, obtuse, spreading. Stamens 4-6. The berry-like drupe containing 4-6 little nutlets. — Leaves alternate. Fertile flowers inclined to be solitary, and the sterile or partly sterile flowers to be clustered in the axils. (The ancient Latin name of the Holly Oak, rather than of the Holly.)

§ 1. AQUIFÒLIUM [Tourn.] Gray. Parts of the flower commonly in 4’s, sometimes in 5’s or 6’s; drupe red or yellow, its nutlets ribbed, veiny, or l-grooved on the back; leaves mostly smooth, coriaceous and evergreen.

Leaves armed with spiny teeth ; trees.

I. opàca Ait. (American H.) Leaves oval, flat, the wavy margins with scattered spiny teeth; flowers in loose clusters along the base of the young branches and in the axils; calyx-teeth acute; fruit red. — Moist woodlands,. Mass, to N. J., near the coast, w. to s. Mo., and southw. June. — Tree, 6-12 m. high ; the deep green foliage less glossy than in the European Holly. Forma XANTHOCARPA Kehdcr. Fruit bright yellow. — New Bedford, Mass. (Hervey).

Family Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family) | Index of Families