Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium_English Holly_stem with fruit M_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: English holly

Ilex aquifolium (English holly) is an evergreen shrub or small tree (family Aquifoliaceae) found in the North Coast Ranges, San Francisco Bay region and central coast of California. English Holly is commonly sold as an ornamental plant used for landscaping and Christmas decorations. The plant has escaped cultivation and invaded moist forested areas throughout the west coast. English holly is slow-growing and may be controlled by removing plants before they start producing seed, 5-12 years after germination.

Rating: Limited

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

    Other Resources

    • USDA PLANTS database -
      Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
    • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
    • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
    • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
    • Natural Resource Projects Inventory - State database with information on resource management projects throughout California. Query by the species of interest.

    Symposium Presentations

    • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2004). Partnering to prevent invasions of plants of horticultural origin. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
    • Pickart, A. (2003). A decade of dune restoration at the Lanphere Dunes. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2003. Kings Beach, CA.

    Cal-IPC News Articles

    • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2005). Don't sell a pest: A new partnership to prevent plant invasions through horticulture. Cal-IPC News. 13: 4-5,14.