There are hundreds of Holly species,
known to botanists as varieties of Ilex
, though many are sadly now extinct. The bright glossy evergreen leaves and red berries we associate so very closely with winter seasonal holidays, whether Christmas or the Winter Solstice, are most likes either English Holly (Ilex aquifolium
) or the native to North America, American Holly (Ilex opaca
). The Holly, like its Ilex
cousins, is a dioecious plant. That means that the male and female reproductive organs are on separate individual plants; there are male plants, and female plants. A single male plant is sufficient to pollinate several female plants; generally one within thirty to forty feet is enough for the female plant to be pollinated, and bear the bright scarlet berries we expect.