Ilex mucronata is a deciduous shrub growing to 3 m (rarely 4 m) tall. The leaves are 1.5-7 cm long and 1-3 cm broad, with an entire or finely serrated margin and an acute apex, and a 0.5–2 cm petiole. The flowers are inconspicuous, whitish to greenish-yellow, produced on slender peduncles 25 mm or more long; it is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. The fruit is a red drupe 6–7 mm diameter containing three to five pits.
The name "mountain holly" is also sometimes used for the related mountain winterberry (Ilex montana).
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Ilex mucronata
- Powell, M., Savolainen, V., Cuénod, P., Manen, J. F., & Andrews, S. (2000). The mountain holly (Nemopanthus mucronatus: Aquifoliaceae) revisited with molecular data. Kew Bulletin 55: 341-347.
- Gottlieb, A. M., Giberti, G. C., & Poggio, L. (2005). Molecular analyses of the genus Ilex (Aquifoliaceae) in southern South America, evidence from AFLP and ITS sequence data. Amer. J. Bot. 92: 352-369. Available online.
- Northern Ontario Plant Database: Ilex mucronata.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Nemopanthus mucronatus.
- Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission: Supplement to key to common wetland shrubs of Wisconsin (pdf file).
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