Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Possumhaw Holly (Ilex decidua)
- Family: Holly (Aquifoliaceae)
- Flowering: April-May.
- Field Marks: This deciduous holly differs from all others by its shallower round-toothed leaves, its completely smooth sepals, and its flower parts usually in 4's.
- Habitat: Swamps, sloughs, wet woods, along streams, around ponds and lakes.
- Habit: Shrub or small tree up to 20 feet tall.
- Stems: Branchlets gray, smooth or hairy.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, elliptic to obovate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, round-toothed, usually hairy, up to 3 inches long, deciduous.
- Flowers: Small, white, less than 1/4 inch long, the male parts sometimes separate from the female parts; male flowers 1-2 in stalkless clusters from the axils of the leaves; female flowers usually solitary in the axils of the leaves.
- Sepals: 4-6, green, smooth.
- Petals: 4-6, white, free from each other.
- Stamens: 4-6, exserted beyond the petals.
- Pistils: 1; ovary superior.
- Fruits: Drupes spherical, usually red, 1/6-1/3 inch in diameter; seeds 5-10, smooth but grooved, 1/6-1/4 inch long.
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