myrtle holly Aquifoliaceae Ilex
myrtifolia Walter symbol: ILMY
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, thickened, avate, obovate or lanceolate; 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long; entire margin or sometimes a few sharp teeth above the middle; shiny dark 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 inch across; usually red (may be yellow); ripen in late fall; persistent.
Twig: Slender and stiff, grayish brown, finely hairy; very small pointed buds; single bundle scar.
Bark: Thin, dark gray, very smooth to warty when young but later becoming finely scaly.
Form: Shrub or small tree with dense branches; reaches heights of 25 feet.
Looks like: yaupon - dahoon - large gallberry - inkberry
Additional Range Information: Ilex myrtifolia is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting myrtle holly.
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