Chinese Holly
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Chinese Holly
E Introduced Photo: Thingnam Anjulika
Common name: Chinese Holly, Horned holly
Botanical name: Ilex cornuta    Family: Aquifoliaceae (Holly family)
Synonyms: Ilex furcata, Ilex fortunei

Chinese Holly is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that can grow up to 8 ft tall. Leaves are rectangular, 4-9 x 2-4 cm, that have 4 to 5 spines on the leaf margin. The glossy and leathery leaves are simple and alternate on the stem. Flowers begin to bloom during the early spring and are yellowish, 4-petalled. Flower are pinwheel-shaped, about 7 mm in diameter, petals reflexed, oblong-ovate, 3-4 mm, basally fused; stamens about as long as or slightly longer than petals. Sepal-cup is disc-like, about 2.5 mm in diameter, sepals broadly triangular, about 0.7 x 1.5 mm, membranous, sparsely finely velvet-hairy, fringed with hairs. Flowers may be not be prominent, but they do have a fragrance. The flowers produce red berries, 8-10 mm in diameter, that ripen in early fall. Chinese Holly is native to Central & S. China to S. Korea, cultivated as a garden plant elsewhere. Flowering: April-May.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in cultivation in Imphal, Manipur.

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