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Ilex ambigua (Carolina holly) | NPIN

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Ilex ambigua (Carolina holly)
Simpson, Benny

Ilex ambigua

Ilex ambigua (Michx.) Torr.

Carolina holly

Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)

Synonym(s): Ilex beadlei, Ilex buswellii, Ilex caroliniana, Ilex montana var. beadlei, Ilex montana var. mollis

USDA Symbol: ilam

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Deciduous shrub or sometimes a small tree with irregular or rounded crown.

This holly is recognized by the usually elliptical, rather than round, translucent fruit and by the petals, which sometimes number 5 instead of 4. The Latin species name, meaning ambiguous or doubtful, suggests uncertainty in the classification when the species was first distinguished and named.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , KY , LA , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: North Carolina to central Florida, west to E. Texas and SE. Oklahoma; to 1000 (3-5 m).
Native Habitat: Moist well-drained soils of upland forests.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ilex ambigua in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ilex ambigua in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ilex ambigua


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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