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Service berry Holly Ilex amelanchier

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Ilex dubia
Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks am-uh-LAN-kee-er
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Sarvis Holly is a large deciduous upright shrub or small tree typically found in the southeastern United States. It is relatively rare in natural settings, although it is generally available commercially, and has a range that reaches its northern limit in southeastern North Carolina. It is found along black water rivers and floodplains and in clay-based Carolina bays. In North Carolina, it has been recorded in just 7 counties in the Coastal Plain. While it is rare and slow to reach maturity, once established, it tends to have a long lifespan.

Sarvis (or Service) Holly is a single-stemed holly that grows well in course to medium textured acidic soil and have some drought tolerance. The leaves are dull green above, light green below with raised white veins on the lower surface. The fruit is a dull, velvety rosy red. For the plant to produce berries, you must have both a male and female plant of the same species and they must bloom at the same time. 

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pests.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#small tree#stream banks#NC native#large shrub#acidic soils tolerant#Braham Arboretum#rare#coastal plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#small tree#stream banks#NC native#large shrub#acidic soils tolerant#Braham Arboretum#rare#coastal plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    amelanchier
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern, U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits are attractive to birds. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi.
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Human ingestion of berries can cause minor toxic reaction.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Dull pink-red drupes, slightly glaucous, appear in late summer and may last through the following spring. You need both male and female plants to produce berries.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Inconspicuous tiny flowers with 4 or 5 greenish-white petals are borne in small clusters in the leaf axils. Blossom in April and May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dull, pale green ovate leaves up to 4 inches long. Leaves are very finely toothed almost entire. The undersides of leaves are very densely hairy and lighter in color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark is smooth, grayish-brown and often marked with lenticels. Often colonized by lichens.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Young stems and twigs are hairy and appear almost white but become glabrous and red-brown with age.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Pollution
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. Leaves and berries are low toxicity.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Seeds