Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Chinese Holly + - Ilex cornuta   Lindley
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Section 6 » Order Celastrales » Family Aquifoliaceae
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DistributionKnown from 6 counties in the Piedmont and the Sandhills. Other specimens from Alleghany, Buncombe, Carteret, Jackson, Rowan, and Wake counties are all from cultivated and or persistent plants.

Native of China; in N.A. NC to KY and AR, south to GA and LA.
AbundanceRare or very rare. Barely escaping from cultivation in NC.
HabitatBottomland hardwoods, disturbed woods on campus, weedy lot and edge of woods, mesic draw in woods, seedlings appearing in yard spontaneously.
See also Habitat Account for Exotic Invaded Habitats
PhenologyFlowering -- no NC data, though probably April-June. Fruiting late summer/fall.
IdentificationThis small tree has very thick, coriaceous leaves with sinuous margins. Most NC plants have a few tough, very sharp spines on the margins, but other plants have rather elliptical leaves without spines. The berries are bright red. Spiny plants may be confused with Ilex aquifolia -- not known to escape in NC, but that plant's leaves are much darker green and have more spines per leaf (twice or more).
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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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