Virginia Tech Dendrology

hollyleaf redberry Rhamnaceae Rhamnus ilicifolia Kellogg Listen to the Latin symbol: RHIL
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, oval to round, to 1 1/2 inch long, bearing spiny teeth (holly-like, occasionally entire), leathery, shiny green above, slightly paler below; leaves are concave.
Flower: Species is dioecious; small, yellow-green, 4 triangular sepals, small cluster bloom from leaf axils in mid-spring.
Fruit: Shiny, bright red, round drupe, 1/4 inch in diameter, ripen in summer.
Twig: Slender and stiff, red-orange, especially when young, often end in a stiff, "thorn-like" twig; buds small, scaly.
Bark: Smooth gray, becomes shallowly fissured and rough on large specimens.
Form: Sprawling dense shrub up to 12 feet tall but usually much less.
leaf map
Additional Range Information: Rhamnus ilicifolia is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting hollyleaf redberry.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson