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ILEX vomitoria

Image of Ilex vomitoria

Grandiflora

Family

Aquifoliaceae

Botanical Name

ILEX vomitoria

Plant Common Name

Yaupon

General Description

A versatile and adaptable shrub or small tree, this native of the southeastern United States is valued for its dense evergreen foliage and showy abundant winter fruit.

The small, shiny, oval, weakly-teethed leaves are bright green to dark drab green. Ripening in fall, the clustered, persistent, pea-size fruits are typically a translucent bright red but may be orange or yellow. Fruits occur only on female plants, which require a male pollinator. They are preceded by inconspicuous white flowers in spring. The smooth, pale gray bark is attractive. Many selections of yaupon are available, including dwarf ('Stoke's Dwarf', Bordeaux, 'Nana'), yellow-fruited ('Saratoga Gold', 'Wiggins Yellow'), weeping ('Folsom Weeping'), and fastigiate ('Will Fleming') cultivars.

Perhaps the most adaptable evergreen holly for mild-winter climates, yaupon does well in sun or shade, clay or sand, and acid or alkaline soil, and tolerates salt spray and shearing. Use it in place of similar but less adaptable hollies such as Ilex crenata. Large cultivars are excellent as specimens or for hedges and screening; small cultivars work wonderfully in foundation plantings, mixed borders, and containers. This shrub also makes an excellent bonsai, topiary, or espalier subject. Birds and other wildlife browse the fruits, especially in late winter when food is scarce.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    4'-25' / 1.2m - 7.6m

  • Width

    5'-15' / 1.5m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Salt, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Orange

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Olive, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Olive, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Groundcover, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No