Holly berries in snow by Elizabeth Dack 1/2
Holly tree by Elizabeth Dack 2/2

Holly Ilex aquifolium

Holly is one of our most familiar evergreen trees, its bright red berries and glossy leaves bringing colour and life into our gardens and homes in winter, and especially at Christmas (the berries and thorny leaves are said to symbolise Jesus's blood on the crown of thorns). Our wildlife enjoys holly, too: the berries are an important food source for many birds like Redwings and Fieldfares, and Mistle Thrushes guard their own berry-laden bushes with such voracity that they'll chase off any potential thieves. Holly can be found in a variety of habitats from remote woodland to urban gardens.

Conservation status


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