A small, elegant, protected,... holly!

Technical information

Within this family are known 4 genera and about 400 species, most of the genus Ilex. It is a holly, shrub or small tree up to 10 m tall, very branched. The bark of the trunk is smooth and grayish young, becoming later brown. Its branches are strongly erect, typical bright green. Leaves, persistent and very coriaceous, between sheep and elliptic-elliptical, provided with sharp blades, although sometimes the edge is smooth.

Its leaves are dark green above and very bright. Its lower part is slower in color and brightness. Holly is a diaphanous plant. Flowers are usually very small, white or pink. The fruit is a small, bright red bayet that contrasts with the color and brightness of the branches or leaves. It flowers between April and June and the fruits ripen in autumn, often remaining in the tree until the following spring.

J. Terés

As for its distribution, it is practically throughout Europe, in most Asia and in North Africa. Except in the Basque Country, in the south and in the summits of the Pyrenees, it is divided into the other territories, with acidic soils in sight. It usually extends through diverse forests (beech, oak, etc.) and communities that replace them.

Its wood is very hard and heavy, appreciated and used in torneria and carpentry, although it is difficult to work. The continuous short horn that they have suffered to obtain a viscous surface and Christmas ornaments have caused a massacre in this species. Therefore, and since it is a very important tree to get winter food or to find shelter for different animals, it is legally protected and in no case can be cut or destroyed.

Holly is also used as a medicinal, tonic, sweaty and anti-fever plant. Its substances are tannins and bitter substances. Given that this species is of great ecological importance and is protected, from these lines we encourage its conservation and its natural diffusion, which can be the symbol and hope of our nature and ecology punished.

Family: aquifoliaceae Species: Ilex aquifolium Distribution: distributed Habitat: forest Medicinal grass: yes

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