I is for Ilex opaca

And Ilex opaca is…American Holly!

If you re just joining us, The Squirrel Nutwork posts for the Blogging A to Z Challenge are featuring Trees for Bees!

Yes, many (all?) of those little holly berries came from the tiny holly flowers pollinated by bees. Please note, you must have both the male and the female trees to produce the berries.

This classic and native tree grows to 25 feet in our area as a beautiful understory with year-round evergreen color. If you live in the warmer climates of the southern U. S., your hollies might reach to 60 feet, but in either case it is a very slow going tree with thin, delicate bark. It grows in sun, part shade and shade.


Purchase plants and seeds from a known source that does not use pesticides / insecticides, particularly neonicotinoids. They are not safe for honeybees and native bees. Watch this bee researcher’s Ted Talk to learn more about bees, why they are dying and how you can help:

Marla Spivak: Why Bees Are Disappearing


4 thoughts on “I is for Ilex opaca

    • It might be a different species of holly than ‘American Holly’, the tree. There are many, but that also means there are many choices for you humans to plant. Thanks for leaping by!

  1. I think I’ll add a local holly tree to my list of trees to plant come Spring 🙂

    Ronel visiting from the A-Z Challenge with Music and Writing: Imagine

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