Ilex coriacea (Pursh) Chapm.
Large gallberry, Bay-gall bush, Ink-berry holly
Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)
USDA Symbol: ILCO
Large gallberry is an evergreen shrub, 10-15 ft. high, occasionally tree-sized, with slender branchlets and narrowly oval, leathery leaves. Non-showy, axillary flowers are followed by shiny-black fruit which, unlike most Ilex spp., drop soon after maturing in later summer or fall.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Lanceolate , Oval
Leaf Texture: Leathery
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Shrub or rarely a small tree, up to 15 feet tall.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, leathery, elliptic to oval to lanceolate, pointed or rounded at the tip, tapering to the base, without teeth, at least along the upper half of the leaf, or with a few bristle-like teeth, smooth on the upper surface except along the veins, smooth or hairy and dotted on the lower surface, up to 4 inches long, up to 2 inches wide; leaf stalks short-hairy.
Flower: Male and female flowers borne separately on separate plants; male flowers 1-several in axillary clusters; female flowers 1-several in axillary clusters.
Fruit: Drupes red at first, becoming black and shiny at maturity, spherical, 1/4-1/3 inch in diameter, sweet and juicy; nutlets 5-9.
Size Class: 12-36 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Coastal plain from s.e. VA to s.e. TX
Native Habitat: Sandy woods; stream banks
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: You must have both a male and female plant to have berries. The male must be the same species as the female and bloom at the same time. Because hollies are such popular landscape plants, it may be worth the risk to plant a female and hope there is a male nearby.
PropagationDescription: Reproduces best if seeds are planted immediately after collection. Patience is probably more important than cold treatment for breaking seed dormancy. May be pretreated with double-stratification. Semi-hardwood cuttings from well-matured growth of the
Seed Treatment: Some benefit may be obtained from 30-60 days treatment at 68-86 degrees followed by 60-90 days of 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1124 Collected 2007-10-04 in Tyler County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Web ReferenceWebref 17 - Southern Wetland Flora: Field Office Guide to Plant Species (0) U.S. Department of Agriculture. No date. Southern wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service, South Nat...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Ilex coriacea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ilex coriacea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ilex coriacea
MetadataRecord Modified: 2014-11-10
Research By: TWC Staff