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Ilex coriacea (Large gallberry)
Leander, Bruce

Ilex coriacea

Ilex coriacea (Pursh) Chapm.

Large gallberry, Bay-gall bush, Ink-berry holly

Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)


USDA Symbol: ilco

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: Dark Green
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: 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 Conditions

Water 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.


Description: 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

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1124 Collected 2007-10-04 in Tyler County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Additional resources

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


Record Last Modified: 2010-04-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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