The most common cultivars are slow-growing shrubs popular for their dense, evergreen foliage and their adaptability to pruning into hedges of various shapes. Vanessa Richins Myers is a seasoned horticulturist, garden writer and educator with 10+ years of experience in the horticulture and gardening space. Once you place the holly into the planting hole, the top of the root ball should sit about an inch above the surrounding soil. The native species is somewhat too fast-growing for landscape use, so most of the varieties planted are slower-growing cultivars, including: Like all hollies, the berries of youpon holly contain ilicin, a mildly toxic substance that is considered dangerous to children and animals if eaten in large quantities. Several youpon teas (using the leaves, not the berries) are now available commercially. Thus the alarming scientific name: Ilex vomitoria. For more information on yaupon holly, contact your county Extension office. Youpon holly grows well in a full-sun to part-shade location. As always, practice extreme cautions when picking and consuming wild plants and fungi. Badly overgrown shrubs can be rejuvenated by cutting away up to one-third of the branches. The mature plant structure is low-growing, dense, and rounded. You can learn how to prepare this refreshing tea in our Yaupon Holly Tea tutorial. You might end up drinking something else! Yaupon is dioecious which means that male and female flowers are born on separate plants; male yaupon hollies do not produce berries. Light annual pruning is recommended if you are growing the plant as a hedge. But you should take care when using holly branches as indoor holiday decorations, as the berries may fall off and be consumed by pets or children. Some growers allow the plant to continue growing in the pot for a full year before transplanting it into a permanent landscape location. Then remove any roots that are circling around the inside of the pot or around the trunk, and shave off the outer layer of the root ball using a sharp knife or shovel. Yaupon hollies' dense and shrubby evergreen growth make them ideal for screens or hedges while also providing habitat for songbirds and other wildlife. When shaping as a hedge, cut the ends of branches back to 1/4 inch above a node facing the direction you want the branch to grow. The berries can be red, orange, or even yellow, and birds and other wildlife will feed on them through the winter months. This versatile plant can also be used as a hedge, screen, barrier, or even in Bonsai. Yaupon is dioecious which means that male and female flowers are born on separate plants; male yaupon hollies do not produce berries. Youpon holly is one of the more tolerant of the holly shrubs, doing well in a variety of soil types, moisture levels, pH levels, and sun exposures. Like many other hollies, yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) is an evergreen shrub or tree that is loved for the colorful berries it produces on the female plants. The plant was traditionally used by Native Americans to make an infusion containing caffeine. The berries are unpleasant to the taste, however, so they are rarely eaten in sufficient quantities to be harmful; no fatalities are reported. Some cultivars, like 'Nana' and 'Schillings', are all-male plants. Credit: UF/IFAS. In its range this plant was used by Native Americans as a medicinal known as cassine, despite its extreme toxicity. We hope this misnomer will not deter interested gardeners from making their own tea. After 8 to 10 weeks, you can transplant the cutting into a large pot filled with a loam/sand mix. , Native Americans may have also used the infusion as a laxative. Symptoms are listed as "nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stupor due to depression of the central nervous system." These include: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T62390A47600649.en, "Ritual Black Drink consumption at Cahokia", "Texas' Only Caffeinated Plant Makes a Buzzworthy Tea - Texas Highways", "Here's The Buzz On America's Forgotten Native 'Tea' Plant", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ilex_vomitoria&oldid=982921979, Plants used in traditional Native American medicine, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 'Grey's Littleleaf'/'Grey's Weeping' – weeping cultivar. It is a hardy, small specimen tree that is … The Latin name comes from an incorrect belief by Europeans that the plant caused vomiting in certain ceremonies. Their small leaves are oval, serated, and dark green. The foliage and twigs are browsed by white-tailed deer. & Putz, F.E. Apply mulch starting at the edge of the root ball and extending outwards, and water the root ball two to three times each week for the first year. The tea was brewed strongly and may have contained other plant material. Best suited for USDA hardiness zones 7a-9b, yaupon hollies should be planted in a spot where they'll receive full or partial sun. See more photos on Trees & Powerlines. Place the cutting in a mixture of perlite and coarse sand, and keep the cutting moist and warm until roots develop. The berries work well to add winter interest and provide food for birds and other wildlife. It's range extends from southern Virginia to Florida and west to Texas. The yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) is an evergreen shrub or small tree with green leaves and red berries that will add color to your garden throughout the year. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Has the highest caffeine content. Yaupon holly is native to the South, but there are also several cultivars offering a variety of forms — from attractive dwarf types that resemble boxwood to large upright or weeping forms (read more about weeping yaupon holly here). Plant your yaupon holly using the same techniques you'd use to plant any shrub or tree. For centuries peoples indigenous to the Americas enjoyed yaupon holly tea on a daily basis, but it was also used ceremonially. Ilex vomitoria is a common landscape plant in the Southeastern United States. Each plant produces little greenish-white male or female flowers in the spring, though only the females will bear fruit—small berries that are usually red but sometimes yellow. This page was last edited on 11 October 2020, at 05:33. Ilex vomitoria, commonly known as yaupon or yaupon holly, is a species of holly that is native to southeastern North America.
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