Holly

Primer plano de un arbusto de acebo con hojas verdes puntiagudas y bayas rojas

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex_aquifolium (Wikipedia)

Ilex aquifolium
Illustration Ilex aquifolium0.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:Tracheophytes
Clade:Angiosperms
Clade:Eudicots
Clade:Asterids
Order:Aquifoliales
Family:Aquifoliaceae
Genus:Ilex
Species:
I. aquifolium
Binomial name
Ilex aquifolium
Ilex aquifolium range.svg
Distribution map of Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium, the holly, common holly, English holly, European holly, or occasionally Christmas holly, is a species of flowering plant in the family Aquifoliaceae, native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia. It is regarded as the type species of the genus Ilex, which by association is also called "holly". It is an evergreen tree or shrub found, for example, in shady areas of forests of oak and in beech hedges. In the British Isles it is one of very few native evergreen trees. It has a great capacity to adapt to different conditions and is a pioneer species that repopulates the margins of forests or clearcuts.

I. aquifolium can exceed 10 m in height, but is often found at much smaller heights, typically 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) tall and broad, with a straight trunk and pyramidal crown, branching from the base. It grows slowly and does not usually fully mature due to cutting or fire. It can live 500 years, but usually does not reach 100.

Ilex aquifolium is the species of holly long associated with Christmas, and previously the Roman festival of Saturnalia. Its glossy green prickly leaves and bright red berries (produced only by the female plant) are represented in wreaths, garlands and cards wherever Christmas is celebrated. It is a subject of music and folklore, especially in the British tradition. It is also a popular ornamental shrub or hedge, with numerous cultivars in a range of colours.

Holly (Wiktionary)

English

Etymology

From Middle English holly, holi, holie, a shortened variation of holin, holyn (> English dialectal hollen, holm), from Old English holeġn, holen (holly; prince, protector), from Proto-West Germanic *hulis (holly), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *ḱel- (to cut).

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈhɒli/
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