American Holly is a slow-growing, medium sized, evergreen tree known and loved throughout the mid-atlantic, south-central and Gulf state lowlands (in NC, is reported in most counties throughout). An understory tree in our deciduous forests, it generally reaches 40 to 60 feet, with pyramidal form, occasionally much taller. In cultivation, however, it is generally shorter, in the range of 30 feet. Evergreen, with bright red berries, it is of course closely associated with winter holidays and are much used in decorations. American Holly is the only Ilex species in America with the spiny points on the leaves. The tree is slow growing, but long lived (~150 years). Like all Ilexes, flowering is dioecious, so a flowering male tree of the same species must be somewhere nearby for pollination to see heavy berry production on the female. The berries are consumed by a large number of songbirds, gamebirds and mammals, but the berries are bitter and eaten when other resources are depleted, so they are beautiful well into the winter season. There are over 1,000 cultivars of this species in the ornamental trade!!