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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Ilex coriacea (Baygall bush)
Cressler, Alan

Ilex coriacea

Ilex coriacea (Pursh) Chapm.

Baygall Bush, Large Gallberry, Gallberry, Tall Inkberry Holly, Inkberry Holly, Shining Inkberry, Inkberry

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.


From the Image Gallery

6 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
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. Although technically drupes, the fruit is commonly referred to as berries.

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 on display at the following locations:

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

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 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 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 Modified: 2015-11-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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