Ilex are genus within the Aquifoliaceae family, native to temperate regions across the world. They are most commonly referred to as the ‘Holly’. In Latin, Ilex means ‘holm oak or evergreen oak’. They are first referenced during the ancient Roman period and has been the topic of many stories. Holly is now symbolic to the festive period as the leaves are thought to look like Christ's crown of thorns with the berries closely resembling blood.
Ilex are deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees, native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. They are commonly referred to as the ‘English Holly’. Distinctive spiny and glossy leaves are decorated with delicate, white flowers. Male and female are usually on separate plants, where female Ilex will generally fashion sumptuous berries during autumn once the flowering period has ceased. They are a staple to a winter garden and are often represented alongside the festive season.
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