Foster's holly Aquifoliaceae Ilex
xattenuata Ashe cassine x opaca symbol: ILAT
Leaf: Alternate, evergreen, simple, thickened, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, upper half of leaf with shallow marginal spines, dark shiny green above, lighter below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; small (1/4 to 1/3 inch across), but attractive, 4-petaled white flowers with yellow-green centers, occur singly but very numerous, appearing in late spring.
Fruit: Bright red, round drupe, 1/4 inch in diameter, persistent, numerous, and very attractive.
Twig: Slender, greenish red, very small buds, leaf scar with 1 bundle scar.
Bark: Smooth, gray, mottled or faintly striped.
Form: A small tree reaching up to 25 feet tall, narrow pyramidal crown.
Looks like: Chinese holly - American holly
Additional Range Information: Ilex xattenuata is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
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