image Ilex vomitoria 'Yawkeyi'

above ‘Yawkeyi’ @ US Arborretum

Ilex vomitoria | Yaupon Holly

STRENGTHS
Evergreen and lovely with dainty small leaves with softly arching branches. Native to MD, multitude of uses in natural or formal gardens. I am a new and enthusuastic fan of this holly. Can be used as substitute for Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata, evergreen with black berries) because more adaptable and disease resistant. Tremendous number of cultivars available, use for informal screens and hedges, takes pruning well, looks wonderful in mass and foundations and even topiary and espaliers. The epithet “vomitoria” is indicative of the fact that eating the berries will make you sick. Native Americans made tea from berries, also containing high caffeine content that made them vomit in order to “cleans” impurities from body and soul. Ok.

CARE
No serious problems, prune selectively to keep natural informal shape.

NOTES
Dioecious – needs male nearby for females to berry. Dirr says “perhaps the most adaptable small leaved holly for southern gardens”.

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Yawkeyi’ heavy fruiting yellow berries 15′ tall

image Ilex vomitoria Yawkeyi reddish new stems image Ilex vomitoria 'Stokes Dwarf' new reddish growth
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 7 – 10 | sun to shade
GROWTH RATE ….. medium to fast, responds well to high fertility
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 15′ to 20′/ narrower spread
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Loose, upright, rounded; can sucker and form thickets
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. .5″-1.5″/.25″ to .75″ oval,tapered at base, blunt at apex
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | dark green, no blackish glands evident on underside
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
STEMS | new growth is purplish red
FLOWERS | small white in spring
BERRIES | translucent, bright red, orange or yellow
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in really wet to very dry, tollerant of salt spray
Native MD, VA to FL and west to TX

image Ilex vomitoria 'Stokes Dwarf'

image Ilex vomitoria 'Stokes Dwarf'