Bring the Outdoors Home

American Holly | Plant Profile

American Holly (Ilex opaca) is an easy to grow evergreen that thrives in all 50 states. Its dense leaves and medium-tall height make it a useful border tree.

With green, spiny leaves and red fruit, the American Holly brings color and texture to a landscape year-round. Its sharp leaves are resistant to deer browsing, and while the fruit will attract birds, it is poisonous to humans.

Its conical shape occurs naturally, and pruning is only required for the occasional irregular branch.


American Holly Characteristics

American Holly has thick, leathery, spiny leaves that are densely packed if given enough sun. It produces small, red, berry-like fruit in the fall and small, white flowers in the spring. Birds are highly attracted to the small fruits.

American Holly grows to 30 feet and can be used as a border tree or to bring texture and color to a landscape. Like most evergreens, it makes a beautiful addition for winter interest.

This hardy tree can handle a broad range of soil characteristics, preferring consistently moist conditions. However, it is best to avoid poorly drained areas.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 5 - 9
40 - 70'
25 - 30'
Bloom Time
Part Shade to Full Shade
Deer Resistant?