An evergreen, perennial, shrub or tree that tends to be conical in shape. It has glossy, dark, leathery leaves edged with spines. On female plants, small, greenish-white flowers form clusters of red berries which persist until eaten by birds.
Stipules - Tiny and black.
Petiole - 5-15 mm long. Shorter than blade. Hairless.
Blade - 40- 80 mm long by 25-60 mm wide. Dark green, glossy, on top and lighter dull green underneath. Obvious lighter to yellowish veins on top side. Tip pointed and spined. Edges scalloped with each lobe ending in a spine. Surface smooth, leathery, undulating. Base squarish to tapering. Hairless.
200- 3000 mm tall by 2.5-30 mm wide.
Green. Older stems may have grey streaks. Erect, single stemmed with many spreading branches above or multiple stems from base that are branched above. Circular in cross section and solid.
Bark smooth on young stems, slightly rough on old stems. Hairless.
Clusters of flowers in leaf axils on stalks 5-14 mm long
Petals - Greenish white,
Green globular berries turning red when ripe. 8-12 mm diameter on a stalk 6-14 mm long. Top has a small 1mm black hat and 4 grooves at right angles radiating from the tip when ripe.
Winter to spring.
Seed Biology and Germination:
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Spread by birds.
Origin and History:
Europe, West Africa and the Mediterranean.
Introduced as an ornamental and escaping into the forest by bird spread seeds.
ACT, NSW, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
It may invade the understorey of old forests.
Invasive weed of the USA.
Management and Control:
Holly is fairly easily pulled up by hand or with a weed wrench and rarely re shoots. Large plants can be cut off near ground level and the stump painted with glyphosate to prevent regrowth.
Plants of similar appearance:
Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).
Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).
Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).
Lazarides, M. and Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO handbook of Australian Weeds. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #528.1.
Randall, J.M. and Marinelli, J. (1996) Invasive Plants. (Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Inc. Brooklyn). P57. Photo.
Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.