Plant DetailShow Menu

Ilex cassine

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks ka-SI-nee
Description

Ilex cassine is a native holly that tolerates wet and shady sites and is moderately salt tolerant, but does not tolerate the cold.  It is a small tree native to the moist woods of the coastal plains.   It is somewhat shrubby with red berries and gray bark. Grows up to 20-30 feet in the wild but is usually smaller in the landscape. Foliage lacks the prominent spines or teeth of the American holly.  Very nice fruit set in fall and winter.  Worthwhile and underused selection. It is relatively pest and disease-free.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Underside of wax-myrtle type leaves have no glands
  • Triangular stipular scar
  • Orange-red berries
  • Evergreen shrub/small tree, oblanceolate leaves
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Angustifolia'
    has narrower leaves
Tags:
#bees#white#evergreen#yellow#birds#small tree#bark#red-orange#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#tree#nectar plant#salt tolerant#fall interest#berries#playground#coastal#wet sites#specialized bees#moist soil#disease resistant#pest resistant#children's garden#winter berries#edible fruits#fall fruits#coastal areas#pollinator plant#holly#dahoon#food source winter
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Angustifolia'
    has narrower leaves
Tags:
#bees#white#evergreen#yellow#birds#small tree#bark#red-orange#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#tree#nectar plant#salt tolerant#fall interest#berries#playground#coastal#wet sites#specialized bees#moist soil#disease resistant#pest resistant#children's garden#winter berries#edible fruits#fall fruits#coastal areas#pollinator plant#holly#dahoon#food source winter
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    cassine
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    This plant has been used by Native Americans for soap and medicinal purposes.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern United States, Mexico, Bahamas, Cuba, Puerto Rico
    Wildlife Value:
    Winter food sources for birds and wildlife. Fruits are attractive to birds. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wind Break
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Particularly resistant to pests and diseases
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Erect
    Open
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Produces a fruit that has a globose berry-like drupe, is red-orange in color, and is very small in size (less than 1/10"). Occurs in clusters. Not a heavy fruiter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Yellow-white, insignificant in spring.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, narrowly oblanceolate. Leaf can be entirely covered with or have only a few sharp teeth at the apex, can be acute or rounded, cuneate, glabrous, and a medium green hue above and below.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Salt
    Wet Soil