Coastal Invasive Species Committee

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English Holly

Ilex aquifolium

 

 

CONTROL

Family: Aquifoliaceae (Holly).

Other Common Names: None.

Origin: Eurasia.

Growth Form / Reproduction: Evergreen shrub or small tree. Seed (berries) dispersed by birds, also spreads by suckering or layering;can re-sprout from stumps.

Legal Status: None.

Impacts:
Agricultural: Grown for Christmas decorations in the florist trade.
Ecological: Can form dense thickets in deciduous, coniferous or mixed forests. Tall shrubs create deep shade difficult for some native plants to grow in.
Human: Prickly leaves can hinder recreational use. Berries are poisonous (an emetic). Grown as an ornamental plant.

Habitat: Moist forests at low elevations. Prefers shade but can tolerate sun. Grows best on sandy or gravelly well-drained soils.

Status and Distribution: Common in Comox Valley and Strathcona, limited in Capital and Cowichan Valley. Reported in the CDFmm, CWHxm, CWHvh and CWHvm.

Management Strategy: Hand-pull small seedlings. Cut mature trees at ground level, being sure to remove all plant material including berries which contain seeds. Monitor cut stumps for regrowth. Foliar herbicides are not effective because of waxy leaves but direct application to cut stumps can be effective.