Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Deciduous holly is found throughout the southeastern United States, from
Virginia west to southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and eastern
Kansas; south to Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, south-central Texas,
and northeastern Mexico [8,10].

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

14 Great Plains

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Occurrence in North America

AL AR FL GA IL IN KS KY LA MD
MS MO NC OK SC TN TX VA WV MEXICO

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: shrub, tree

Deciduous holly is a native, large shrub or small tree. The average
maximum height at maturity is 33 feet (10 m) [8,10,42]. The bark is
smooth or slightly roughened [10,30]. The fruit is a four- to
seven-seeded berry [3].

The national champion (1981), located in South Carolina, is 3 feet
(9 m) in circumference and 42 feet (12.8 m) in height [8].

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Type Information

Isoneotype for Ilex decidua Walter
Catalog Number: US 1837490
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: ; Status verified from secondary sources
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): R. K. Godfrey & R. M. Tryon
Year Collected: 1939
Locality: Floodplain forest, Santee River, 3 miles northeast of Pineville., Berkeley, South Carolina, United States, North America
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Habitat

Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: cover, tree

Deciduous holly is not a dominant or indicator species in habitat
typings. It occurs in a variety of cover types and has a number of
associated species. The most common overstory and midstory associates
not previously mentioned include red maple (Acer rubrum), winged elm
(Ulmus alata), blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica), southern red oak (Quercus
falcata), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), tree huckleberry
(Vaccinium arboreum), American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), American
holly (Ilex opaca), and yaupon (I. vomitoria). Understory associates
include rusty blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum), Alabama supplejack
(Berchemia scandens), trumpetcreeper (Campis radicans), grapes (Vitis
spp.), and greenbriers (Smilax spp.) [16,18,21,23,26,27,34,37,40].

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Habitat: Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the terms: hardwood, swamp

46 Eastern redcedar
57 Yellow-poplar
64 Sassafras - persimmon
65 Pin oak - sweetgum
73 Southern redcedar
74 Cabbage palmetto
75 Shortleaf pine
76 Shortleaf pine - oak
78 Virginia pine - oak
79 Virginia pine
80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
81 Loblolly pine
82 Loblolly pine - hardwood
83 Longleaf pine - slash pine
84 Slash pine
87 Sweet gum - yellow-poplar
88 Willow oak - water oak - diamondleaf oak
89 Live oak
91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak
92 Sweetgum - willow oak
93 Sugarberry - American elm - green ash
94 Sycamore - sweetgum - American elm
96 Overcup oak - water hickory
97 Atlantic white-cedar
98 Pond pine
101 Baldcypress
102 Baldcypress - tupelo
103 Water tupelo - swamp tupelo
104 Sweetbay - swamp tupelo - redbay

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Habitat characteristics

Deciduous holly is usually found on moist soils of floodplains, low
woodlands, wet thickets, and along streams. It occurs infrequently on
well-drained wooded slopes or sandy pineland ridges [3,8,43]. It is
occasional in hydric hammocks in Florida [41]. It occurs in elevations
of up to 1,180 feet (360 m) throughout its distribution [4].

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine
FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress
FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K083 Cedar glades
K084 Cross Timbers
K089 Black Belt
K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest
K112 Southern mixed forest
K113 Southern floodplain forest

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the term: litter

The mean, ash-free caloric value for deciduous holly leaves is 5,311
calories per gram. This value can be used in calculations to predict
heat release during fire on sites with deciduous holly litter [12].

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: prescribed fire, surface fire, wildfire

The number of deciduous holly stems increased following prescribed
spring fires in loblolly-shortleaf pine stands. Fruit production
increased following fire, but since there was also a large increase in
fruit production on control plots, it was difficult to separate the
effects of fire from other effects [36].

Numerous deciduous holly seedlings occured on loblolly-shortleaf pine
plots that received two prescribed fire treatments [33]. Nine years
after wildfire in a loblolly pine community, deciduous holly did not
occur on plots that had undergone surface fire only. Plots where fire
crowning occurred were colonized by seedlings resulting from
animal-dispersed seed [27].

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the term: prescribed fire

Deciduous holly is damaged, top-killed, or killed by light- or
moderate-severity fires [27,36]. After two prescribed fires in
loblolly-shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) stands, deciduous holly
exhibited moderate mortality (up to 50 percent) after fires in cut-over
sawtimber-sized stands, and low mortality after fires in pulpwood-sized
timber [33]. High mortality (up to 100 percent) of stems less than 1
inch (2.54 cm) in diameter occurred after winter prescribed fire in a
slash pine plantation [44].

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: root crown, shrub

Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown
Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: resistance, top-kill

Deciduous holly grows in a number of habitats, some of which may be
subject to fire. Some resistance to fire is conferred by the ability to
sprout after top-kill. Its main fire adaptation is the ability to
colonize disturbed soils through animal-dispersed seed [27].

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: hardwood

Facultative Seral Species

Deciduous holly is found in all successional stages. It colonizes areas
that have been disturbed by fire, and it is found in old-growth
bottomland hardwood forests [27,25].

Deciduous holly was abundant in the third and fourth years after removal
of a young green ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica)-American elm (Ulmus
americana) stand [6].

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: hardwood

Deciduous holly produces abundant, light seeds that are dispersed by
frugivores. In bottomland hardwood forests in Texas, first-year
seedling survivorship was good. Seedling survival increases with
distance from a conspecific or sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) adult.
Deciduous holly seedlings grow slowly, about 0.4 to 0.8 inch (1-2 cm)
per year [37].

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the terms: shrub, tree

Tree, Shrub

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

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Deciduous holly flowers from March to May [4]. The fruits ripen in
September and persist until the following spring [13]. Seedling
emergence occurs before spring canopy development in early February, and
continues through May [37].

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Ilex decidua

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ilex decidua

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Deciduous holly is state-listed as threatened in Florida [45].

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the term: hardwood

Deciduous holly is moderately tolerant to periodic flooding. Mature
trees can withstand flooding of up to 35 percent of the growing season.
Saplings have survived 105 days of flooding from March to July [11].
Near Alton, Illinois, deciduous holly maintained vigorous growth through
4 years of continuous flooding, but declined in the fifth year [9]. It
is more likely to survive in frequently flooded plots than is common
persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) or elms (Ulmus spp.) [37].

Deciduous holly can supress regeneration of timber species [10].

Control: Deciduous holly is susceptible to stem injection of 2,4-D and
glyphosate [10,22]. Deciduous holly seedling counts were highest on
bottomland hardwood sites that had been harvested and site-prepared by
herbicide stem injection of all stems larger than 2 inches (5 cm) d.b.h.
The lowest numbers of deciduous holly seedlings occurred on sites that
had been harvested and site-prepared by shearing [14]. When managing
for white-tailed deer, burning or slashing deciduous holly stems is
preferable to herbicide application; the sprouts resulting from those
treatments provide deer browse [10].

Deciduous holly is a good choice in plantings for wildlife; individual
plant fruit production is consistent from year to year, and a high
percentage (greater than 70 percent) of individuals bear fruit [28].

Increase: Production of deciduous holly browse was highest under medium-
thinning intensity in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations [2].
Deciduous holly can be propagated by cuttings [42].

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

Deciduous holly fruits are consumed by small mammals, songbirds and game
birds, including eastern bluebirds, wild turkeys, and quail. They are
also eaten by white-tailed deer [10,13]. White-tailed deer and cattle
browse both leaves and twigs [2].

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Other uses and values

Deciduous holly is planted as an ornamental [42].

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Wikipedia

Ilex decidua

Ilex decidua (Meadow Holly, also called "possumhaw", "deciduous holly" or "swamp holly") is a species of holly native to the United States.

Description[edit]

Leaves of Ilex decidua

Distinguishing features of this species are crenate leaf margins and fruiting pedicels that are 2–8 mm long.[1] Its "distinctive leaf shape... is less variable than other species of holly".[2] Leaves are obovate,[3] simple, alternating, deciduous, and grow to 2.5-7.5 cm long.[2]

Drupe fruits are red (or rarely yellow), shiny, and globose (spherical, or nearly so), with a diameter of 4–8 mm.[1][2] The pulp is bitter; they contain 3-5 seeds and mature in autumn.[2]

Slender twigs are glabrous and silvery gray, with "numerous spur shoots", pointed lateral buds, and acuminate scales.[2]

Bark is "light brown to gray" in color and may be smooth or "warty and roughened".[2]

Distribution and ecology[edit]

Drawing of Ilex decidua

Ilex decidua is a common plant,[1] growing in the US in Alabama, Arkansas, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.[4]

It grows in the northern Mexico states of Chihuahua and Coahuila.[5]

It prefers land in floodplains and the margins of swamps or lakes, and grows at elevations up to about 360 m.[1][2] Other plant species with which possumhaw is associated include water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), overcup oak (Quercus lyrata), bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and hackberry (Celtis spp.).[6]

The fruits attract songbirds.[3] Deer browse on young twigs.[2]

Human use[edit]

Ilex decidua with red "berries"

Because of the attractive "berries", the tree is used as a winter ornamental plant, and branches are collected for use as Christmas decorations.[2] The wood is not useful commercially because of the tree's small size.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Duncan, Wilbur H. and Marion B. Duncan (1988). Trees of the Southeastern United States. Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press. pp. 304–305. ISBN 0-8203-1469-2. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Brown, Claud L.; L. Katherine Kirkman (1990). Trees of Georgia and Adjacent States. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. pp. 178–179. ISBN 0-88192-148-3. 
  3. ^ a b "NPIN: Ilex decidua (Possumhaw)". Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  4. ^ "PLANTS Profile for Ilex decidua (possumhaw)". Natural Resources Conservation Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  5. ^ "Ilex decidua information from NPGS/GRIN". Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  6. ^ "FDEP Featured Plant: Florida Hollies". Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

More info for the term: swamp

deciduous holly
possumhaw
swamp holly
winterberry
bearberry
Curtiss possumhaw

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More info for the term: fern

The currently accepted scientific name for deciduous holly is Ilex
decidua Walt. [8]. There are no accepted subspecies. Named varieties are as
follows [20]:

Ilex decidua var. decidua
I. d. var. longipes (Chapm. ex Trel.) Ahles
I. d. var. curtissii Fern.

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Synonyms

Ilex cuthbertii Small
I. curtissii (Fern) Small
I. longipes Chapm.

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