Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, thickened, oblong to lanceolate; 2 to 4 inches long; entire margin or a few sharp teeth above the middle; green above, paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; males are small, greenish white in small, short branched clusters; females have 4 small greenish white petals and occur solitary or in a small clusters; appear in late spring to early summer.
Fruit: Berry-like round drupe, 1/4 to 1/3 inch across; usually red (may be yellow); ripen in fall; persistent.
Twig: Slender, grayish brown, finely hairy; very small pointed buds.
Bark: Thin, dark gray, very smooth when young but later becoming finely scaly.
Form: Shrub or small tree with dense branches; reaches heights of 25 feet.
Looks like: myrtle holly - large gallberry - American holly - yaupon
Additional Range Information: Ilex cassine is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information