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Tall Gallberry Ilex coriacea

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks kor-ee-ay-SEE-ah
Description

Tall Gallberry is an evergreen shrub in the holly family that is found along the coastal plain from VA to FL and west to TX. It can reach heights of 20' with a very open crown. It is dioecious so a male and female plant of the same species that bloom at the same time is needed for fruit production.

This plant prefers moist to wet sandy soils in partial sun. Use along streams or ponds, in naturalized areas, around bogs and moist woodlands.

The flowers are a good nectar source and are utilized by beekeepers for making honey.  The berries are eaten by birds and small mammals.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#native shrub#NC native#large shrub#glossy leaves#red fruits#prickly#Braham Arboretum#leathery leaves#evergreen shrub#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source soft-mast fruit#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#native shrub#NC native#large shrub#glossy leaves#red fruits#prickly#Braham Arboretum#leathery leaves#evergreen shrub#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source soft-mast fruit#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    coriacea
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern, U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas
    Wildlife Value:
    Good source of nectar for bees. Drupes attract birds and small mammals.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Open
  • 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:
    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
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small nearly black shiny berry-like ⅓ inch drupe displays from September to October. Drops soon after maturing.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Dioecious small greenish-white flowers in axillary clusters, bloom from April to May
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Prickly
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate simple irregularly serrated or spine-tipped. 1.5"-3" long oblong, oval to obovate leathery shiny dark green above and lighter dull underneath with a few hairs. Pointed or rounded at the tip, tapering to the base.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Bark Description:
    Smooth greyish brown mottled bark with scattered lenticels .
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds