|Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, 2 to 3 inches long, margin shallowly blunt toothed and often revolute, narrowly obovate (variable), tips rounded or broadly wedge-shaped, glabrous and dull green above, paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; both male and females are short-stalked and greenish white with 4 petals, usually in small clusters, appear in spring.
Fruit: Round drupes on short stalks, 1/3 inch in diameter, reddish-orange to red in clusters of 2 to 4, ripening in fall but may persist through the winter, seeds grooved and larger (3/16 inch) than Ilex verticillata.
Twig: Slender, gray to green-brown, with scattered light lenticels, buds and leaf scars are small, one vascular bundle scar, stiff spur shoots common.
Bark: Thin, smooth (may be warty) and grayish brown, with lenticels.
Form: Upright shrub with multiple stems, branches stiff and often appearing thorny, reaches heights of 20 feet.
Looks like: sarvis holly
- mountain holly
- winterberry holly
- sweet cherry