Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium_English Holly_stem with fruit M_JM DiTomaso
Photo: 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.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

CDFA Rating: None?


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.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Ilex aquifolium Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Ilex aquifolium_leaf(ab- and adaxial side)_ZoyaAkulova
    Ilex aquifolium (English holly) leaf (ab- and adaxial side). Photo: Zoya Akulova
    Ilex aquifolium_seed and fruit_JeanPawek
    Ilex aquifolium (English holly) seed and fruit. Photo: Jean Pawek