ILEX AQUIFOLIUM.--Common Holly. Europe (Britain) and West Asia. Though

the Hollies are not usually reckoned ornamental for the sake of their

flowers, their berries are highly so. Some of them are nevertheless

deliciously fragrant when in bloom. The leaves of this, our native

species, in their typical form are oblong-ovate, wavy, and deeply

spiny-toothed. The tree flowers in May and June, while the clusters of

bright red berries ripen in autumn, persist all the winter, and

sometimes even hang on tree till a second crop is matured, provided they

are not devoured by birds during severe weather. The varieties are very

numerous, and differ chiefly in the form and toothing of the leaves,

which are variegated in many cases, their size and form, and in the

colour of the berries in a few instances.

I. Aquifolium albo-marginata has ovate, nearly flat, spiny-serrate

leaves, with a narrow silvery margin, and fruits freely. I. Aquifolium

fructu albo has white berries; in I. Aquifolium fructu luteo they are

yellow and very abundantly produced; and in I. Aquifolium fructu nigro

they are black. I. Aquifolium handsworthensis has elliptic-oblong spiny

leaves, with a creamy-white margin and marbled with gray. Grafted trees

bear berries in great profusion from the time they are only a foot high,

and are highly ornamental. I. Aquifolium Hodginsii has large, broadly

oblong-ovate, slightly spiny leaves, and large crimson-red berries that

ripen late in autumn. I. Aquifolium Hodginsii aurea is a sub-variety

with a broad golden margin to the leaves, and the disc splashed with

gray. Beautiful and distinct is I. Aquifolium Lawsoniana, with ovate,

flat, almost spineless leaves, heavily and irregularly blotched with

yellow in the centre. The berries are of a brilliant red. The variety

differs from Milkmaid in having flat, nearly entire leaves. I.

Aquifolium pendula has a wide, rounded, drooping head, but otherwise

does not differ from the type. Many others bear berries, but the above

are all very distinct forms.

I. OPACA.--American Holly. United States, 1744. The leaves of this

species are oblong or oval, small, spiny-serrate, and of a dark opaque

green. The berries, which ripen in autumn, are small, bright red, and

very liable to be eaten by birds. In America this Holly is put to

precisely the same purposes as the common Holly is in Europe. It is

perfectly hardy here.

Idesia Illicium facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail