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Uses

Toxic parts

The fruit and probaby other parts of the plant contain saponins and are toxic, causing diarrhoea, vomiting and stupor[1][2]. However, toxicity levels are low and it is only in very large doses that problems are likely to arise[3][4].

Edible uses

Notes

The leaves have been used as a tea substitute[5]. The roasted fruit has been used as a coffee substitute[6]. Some caution is advised here, since the fruit can be purgative and emetic[K].

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

An excellent hedge plant, tolerating hard clipping and maritime exposure and forming a dense stock-proof shelter[5][7][8][9][10]. Plants are fairly slow growing however[7].

The cultivar 'Pendula' makes a very good carpeting ground cover plant when grown as a cutting on its own roots[11]. It can be planted up to 1.2 metres apart each way, but is fairly slow to cover the ground[11].

Wood - strong, hard and dense, it polishes well, though it must be well dried and seasoned or else it warps badly. It is beautifully white, except at the centre of very old trees, and is highly regarded by cabinet makers though it must be well seasoned[5][6][12][13]. The heartwood of mature trees is used for printing blocks, engravings, turnery etc[7][14]. The wood makes a good fuel, burning well even when green[15].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Holly is little used in modern herbalism. The leaves are diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge and tonic[5][16][17]. They can be use fresh at almost any time of the year or can be harvested in late spring and dried for later use[5][16]. They are used in the treatment of intermittent fevers, rheumatism, catarrh, pleurisy etc[5][18][19]. The juice of the fresh leaves has been successfully used in the treatment of jaundice[5].

The berries are violently emetic and purgative[5][6]. They have been used in the treatment of dropsy and as a powder they have been used as an astringent to check bleeding[5]. The berries are toxic, especially to children, and should not be used medicinally except under professional supervision[19]. The root has been used as a diuretic, though there are more effective diuretics available[6].

The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Hatred', 'Envy', 'Jealousy' and 'Suspicion'[20].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Secondary canopy or Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover


Hedge

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It can take 18 months to germinate. Stored seed generally requires two winters and a summer before it will germinate and should be sown as soon as possible in a cold frame. Scarification, followed by a warm stratification and then a cold stratification may speed up the germination time[21][22]. The seedlings are rather slow-growing. Pot them up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame for their first year. It is possible to plant them out into a nursery bed in late spring of the following year, but they should not be left here for more than two years since they do not like being transplanted. Alternatively, grow them on in their pots for a second season and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Give them a good mulch and some protection for their first winter outdoors.

Cuttings of almost ripe wood with a heel, August in a shaded position in a cold frame. Leave for 12 months before potting up.

Layering in October. Takes 2 years.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Ilex aquifolium. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in most soils, including peat, chalk, gravels, sand and shales[10], so long as they are not water-logged, though wild plants are occasionally found in situations with standing winter water[10]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[10]. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant[10]. Dislikes dry soils according to one report[23] whilst another says that it succeeds in dry shade[24]. Tolerates a pH range from 3.5 to 7.2[10]. Succeeds in full sun or fairly dense shade[25][26][23], self-sown seedlings from woods and shady places making the most shade tolerant plants[26]. Tolerant of maritime exposure[9] though in such a situation it may lose some or all its leaves in the winter[10].

Plants require a minimum July temperature of 12°c for good fruit production[10]. They tolerate short periods in winter down to -15°c[27]. Severe frosts can kill whole branches, especially if they are open to the sky[10]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties[28]. Flowers and fruits are formed on wood of the previous year's growth[29]. A good bee plant[30], the minute flowers are sweetly scented[31]. The fruit is a valuable winter food source for birds. Resents root disturbance, especially as the plants get older[7]. It is best to place the plants into their permanent positions as soon as possible, perhaps giving some winter protection for their first year or two[K]. Only move the plants in May or, preferably, in September[32]. Plants are quite slow growing, even when in good soils and situations[7][9]. Trees are usually dioecious but hermaphrodite forms are available. Male and female plants must usually be grown if seed is required. Plants are capable of regenerating from the main stem both above and below ground level and, although the top may be killed in a fire, the plants will usually regrow from the base[10]. Rabbits are particularly fond of this species and will quickly remove the bark.

This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[33].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Ilex aquifolium. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Ilex aquifolium.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Ilex aquifolium
Genus
Ilex
Family
Aquifoliaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
9 x 5 meters
Fertility
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (1980-00-00)
  2. ? Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (1999-00-00)
  3. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  4. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
  5. ? 5.005.015.025.035.045.055.065.075.085.095.105.11 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.6 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.6 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Shepherd. F.W. Hedges and Screens. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0900629649 (1974-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.19.29.3 Rosewarne experimental horticultural station. Shelter Trees and Hedges. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1984-00-00)
  10. ? 10.0010.0110.0210.0310.0410.0510.0610.0710.0810.0910.10 Beckett. G. and K. Planting Native Trees and Shrubs. Jarrold (1979-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.111.2 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.1 Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
  15. ? 15.015.1 Mabey. R. Plants with a Purpose. Fontana ISBN 0-00-635555-2 (1979-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.116.2 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
  17. ? 17.017.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
  18. ? 18.018.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  19. ? 19.019.119.2 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
  20. ? 20.020.1 Chancellor. P. M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies C. W. Daniel Co. Ltd. ISBN 85207 002 0 (1985-00-00)
  21. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  22. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
  23. ? 23.023.1 Brown. Shade Plants for Garden and Woodland. ()
  24. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  25. ? 25.025.1 Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
  26. ? 26.026.1 Knight. F. P. Plants for Shade. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0-900629-78-9 (1980-00-00)
  27. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30258-2 (1989-00-00)
  28. ? Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
  29. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
  30. ? International Bee Research Association. Garden Plants Valuable to Bees. International Bee Research Association. (1981-00-00)
  31. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  32. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  33. ? 33.033.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)

"image:Ilex-aquifolium (Europaeische Stechpalme-1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Ilex aquifolium"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyAquifoliaceae +
Belongs to genusIlex +
Functions asGround cover + and Hedge +
Has common nameHolly +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partUnknown part +
Has edible useTea +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure +, High wind + and Drought +
Has fertility typeSelf sterile + and Bee +
Has flowers of typeDioecious +
Has growth rateSlow +
Has hardiness zone6 +
Has imageIlex-aquifolium (Europaeische Stechpalme-1.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useFuel + and Wood +
Has mature height9 +
Has mature width5 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAstringent +, Bach +, Diaphoretic +, Diuretic +, Emetic +, Expectorant +, Febrifuge + and Purgative +
Has primary imageIlex-aquifolium (Europaeische Stechpalme-1.jpg +
Has search nameilex aquifolium + and x +
Has shade tolerancePermanent shade +
Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teheavy clayture preferenceHeavy clay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameIlex aquifolium +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheSecondary canopy + and Soil surface +
Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +