Date (D-M-Y): 5
Photographer: E. M. Barrows
Identifier: E. M. Barrows
Collector: not applicable
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Keywords: A American Holly Forest Ecology green flower green fruit information sheet red fruit tree
Ilex opaca William William Aiton, American Holly
[Latin opaca, dull or opaque, referring to the leaves which are contrasted the the shiny ones of European Ilex]
(Sutton & Sutton 1985, plates 105, 193; Kricher & Morrison 1998, 149)
General roles in forests.
IOs are autotrophs that generally live in forests, forest edges, and yards.
Many kinds of organisms consume dead and living IO fruits, leaves, roots, and stems.
Specific roles in forests.
Bees, flower flies, and other insects consume nectar and pollen from IO flowers.
Flocks of migrating birds consume tons of IO fruits annually.
A leaf-mining fly consumes leaves of this tree.
An IO tree in my yard usually produces many fruits each year.
Most of its ripe fruits remain on its branches through spring.
In 2 years, I watched a flock of American Robins descend on the tree and consume almost all of its fruit in 1 day.
Mr. Michael Pontti, Landscape Foreman of GU, is an avid holly enthusiast and a member of the American Holly Society.
He and his workers have planted a large holly collection with many species on GU campuses, and he keeps records on the plants.
Large American Holly trees grow in forests of the Coastal Plain and in local parks.