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Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Ilex vomitoria

Family Name:



Ilex vomitoria is probably the most versatile evergreen holly for general use in Texas. This native holly has been selected for clones ranging in size and shape from small green meatballs to rocket-like columnar or weeping forms. Female clones have been selectd for outstanding red fall and winter fruit that contrast with the dark gray-green foliage.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, small shrub, medium shrub, large shrub, tree, small tree, topiary


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Light green, inconspicuous

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Glossy red, ornage, or pale yellow fruit are a primary fall / winter feature


Typically 10 ft to 20 ft, but individuals can range from 4 ft to 30 ft


8 ft to 12 ft for species types, 2 ft to 15 ft for cultivars

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Likely the most heat, drought, and alkaline soil tolerant of the evergreen hollies. Yaupon can also tolerate temporarily soggy soils. Branches can be brittle during shipping; few insect or disease pests, put leaf rollers and scale insects are occasional problems.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.