Ilex vomitoria Aiton

Yaupon Holly

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Genus: Ilex

Category: Shrub - Evergreen

Zones: 7 to 10

Size: 15 to 20' tall and less wide

Growth Rate: Moderate

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Leaves similar in size and shape to Ilex crenata but distinguishable because the margin tends to be serrate or scalloped to the base whereas on Ilex crenata the scallops do not usually extend down to the base. Also there are no black stipules or glands under the leaf. Distinguished from Boxwood by the leaf arrangement - alternate on Holly, opposite for Boxwood.

Stems are a grayish brown. Some reddish new growth on leaves. Tolerant of wet soils in natural habitat and will survive short periods of flooding once established.

Tolerates wet soils.


Bordeaux™ 'Condeaux' PP#8,779 - branch sport of I. vomitoria 'Stokes Dwarf' with burgundy new growth and winter color, found in 1988 at Flowerwood Nursery, Mobile AL.


'Vomitoria' = causes vomiting.

Native to eastern and southern US, including South Carolina and Georgia, and Mexico.

Introduced to cultivation before 1700.

Published in Hortus Kew 1: 170 in 1789. Reference is made to Catesby's Natural History Volume I Plate 57.

First published in Sp. Pl. 1: 125 in 1753 as an unnamed variety of Ilex cassine - also citing Catesby's Natural History.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner