Ilex myrtifolia Walter
Myrtle Dahoon, Myrtle Leaf Holly, Myrtle Holly
Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)
Synonym(s): Ilex cassine var. myrtifolia
USDA Symbol: ilmy
An evergreen shrub or small tree, usually not exceeding 15-18 ft. The rigid, elliptic leaves have smooth margins and axillary, greenish-white flowers which are not showy. The fruits on the female trees are red, sometimes orange or yellow, and often persist to spring.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: Up to about 30 feet tall, often much shorter.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX
Native Distribution: Coastal Plain from NC to FL, w. to LA
Native Habitat: Swamp margins; low, sandy areas; bays
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, sandy soil.
Conditions Comments: This species is sometimes considered a variety of Ilex cassine, which has wider leaves. 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: Ilex seeds exhibit a dormancy. Patience is probably more important than cold treatment for germination. Cuttings root about any time of year.
Seed Collection: Collect fruit in fall. Crush pulp and wash away. Seeds which float should be throw away as they are not viable.
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
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Shrub for part shade for hedge in Holly Ridge NC
April 07, 2010
We live in Coastal NC. We would like a type of shrub for the front of our home which is partial shade, similar style to a boxwood or trainable hedge. What NC native would compare?
view the full question and answer
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
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Ilex myrtifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ilex myrtifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ilex myrtifolia
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-07
Research By: TWC Staff