Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Possumhaw

Possumhaw

Ilex decidua

Sun to light shade; wet to medium moisture level; tolerant of a range of soils including coarse infertile sands, gravels, loamy sands, fine silts, heavy clay, peats and mucks; prefers moderately acid pH but tolerates slightly acid to neutral pH.

12-20 feet height by 9-15 feet spread; blooms May and June; greenish to white flowers; glossy, globular red berries in fall on female plants.

Growth Rate:  Slow to medium.  Freely sprouts from the base and roots and forms large, unkempt thickets in the wild.

Maintenance:  Infrequent disease and insect problems

Propagation:  Difficult from seed and moderately difficult from cuttings

Native Region:  Western Tennessee and southern half of the Ridge and Valley province

A deciduous holly that is a large shrub or small tree.  Best fruiting occurs in full sun, and both a male and female plant are required to set fruit.  Cultivars are available, and ‘Warren’s Red’ is the best cultivar selection to date for glossy dark green foliage and brilliant red fruits.  Attracts birds and small mammals; high wildlife value.

shrub; sun;wet;clay
shrub;sun;wet;loam
shrub;sun;wet;sand
shrub;sun;wet;rocky
shrub;sun;medium;clay
shrub;sun;medium;loam
shrub;sun;medium;sand
shrub;sun;medium;rocky
shrub;sun/shade;wet;clay
shrub;sun/shade;wet;loam
shrub;sun/shade;wet;sand
shrub;sun/shade;wet;rocky
shrub;sun/shade;medium;clay
shrub;sun/shade;medium;loam
shrub;sun/shade;medium;sand
shrub;sun/shade;medium;rocky
shrub;shade;wet;clay
shrub;shade;wet;loam
shrub;shade;wet;sand
shrub;shade;wet;rocky
shrub;shade;medium;clay
shrub;shade;medium;loam
shrub;shade;medium;sand
shrub;shade;medium;rocky

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