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Holly
European Holly (Ilex aquifolium) leaves and fruit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
DC. ex A.Rich.
Genus: Ilex
L.
Species

About 600, see text

Holly (Ilex, pronounced /ˈaɪlɛks/)[1] is a genus of approximately 600 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family.

Contents

Description and ecology

Hollies (here, Ilex aquifolium) are dioecious: (above) shoot with flowers from male plant; (top right) male flower enlarged from female plant; (lower right) female flower enlarged, showing stamen and reduced, sterile stamens with no pollen.
A holly bush with a lone red berry in winter.

Holly berries are somewhat toxic and will cause vomiting and/or diarrhea when ingested by people, partly due to the ilicin content. The fatal dose is estimated to be around twenty berries for adults. However they are extremely important food for numerous species of birds, and also are eaten by other wild animals. In the fall and early winter the berries are hard and apparently unpalatable. After being frozen or frosted several times, the berries soften, and become milder in taste. During winter storms, birds often take refuge in hollies, which provide shelter, protection from predators (by the spiny leaves), and food. The flowers are sometimes eaten by the larva of the Double-striped Pug moth (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata). Other Lepidoptera whose larvae feed on holly include Bucculatrix ilecella (which feeds exclusively on hollies) and The Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia). Holly is commonly referenced at Christmas time. Also see: wreath for information on how the holly plant is used in Christmas wreaths.

Having evolved numerous species that are endemic to islands and small mountain ranges, and being highly useful plants, many hollies are now becoming rare. Tropical species are especially often threatened by habitat destruction and overexploitation, and at least two have become extinct, with numerous others barely surviving.[2]

Selected species

Etymology

The origin of the word "holly" is Old English holegn, which is related to Old High German hulis. The French word for holly, houx, derives from the Old High German word hulis, huls, as do Low German/Low Franconian terms like Hülse or hulst. These Germanic words appear to be related to words for holly in Celtic languages, such as Welsh celyn, Breton kelen(n) and Irish cuilleann.

The botanical name ilex was the original Latin name for the Holm Oak (Quercus ilex), which has similar foliage to common holly, and is occasionally confused with it. Several romance languages use the latin word acrifolium (turned into aquifolium in modern time), so Italian agrifoglio, Occitan grefuèlh, etc.

Uses

Trunk and leaves of a variegated holly bush.
A 'Highclere' holly variety.

In many western cultures, holly is a traditional Christmas decoration, used especially in wreaths. The wood is heavy, hard and whitish; one traditional use is for chess pieces, with holly for the white pieces, and ebony for the black. Other uses include turnery, inlay work and as firewood. Looms in the 1800s used holly for the spinning rod. Because holly is dense and can be sanded very smooth, the rod was less likely than other woods to snag threads being used to make cloth. Peter Carl Faberge used holly for cases for Faberge eggs as well as small objects such as hand seals.

Many of the hollies are widely used as ornamental plants in gardens and parks. Several hybrids and numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, among them the very popular Ilex × altaclerensis (I. aquifolium × I. perado) and Ilex × meserveae (I. aquifolium × I. rugosa).[5] Hollies are often used for hedges; the spiny leaves make them difficult to penetrate, and they take well to pruning and shaping.[6] In Heraldry, holly is used to symbolise truth.

Between the thirteenth and eighteenth century, before the introduction of turnips, holly was cultivated for use as winter fodder for cattle and sheep.[7] Less spiny varieties of holly were preferred, and in practice the leaves growing near the top of the tree have far fewer spines making them more suitable for fodder.

Several holly species are used to make caffeine-rich herbal teas. The South American Yerba Mate (I. paraguariensis) is boiled for the popular revigorating drinks Mate, and Chimarrão, and steeped in water for the cold Tereré. Guayusa (I. guayusa) is used both as a stimulant and as an admixture to the entheogenic tea ayahuasca; its leaves have the highest known caffeine content of any plant. In North and Central America, Yaupon (I. vomitoria), was used by southeastern Native Americans as a ceremonial stimulant and emetic known as "the black drink"[8]. As the name suggests, the tea's purgative properties were one of its main uses, most often ritually. Gallberry (Appalachian Tea, I. glabra) is a milder substitute for Yaupon and does not have caffeine. In China, the young leaf buds of I. kudingcha are processed in a method similar to green tea to make a tisane called kǔdīng chá (苦丁茶, roughly "bitter spikeleaf tea").

References

  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) (2007): 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Ilex
  3. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989) (PDF). Kāwaʻu, Hawaiian holly. United States Forest Service. http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/forestry/data/CommonTreesHI/CFT_Ilex_anomala.pdf. 
  4. ^ Ulloa Ulloa & Jørgensen (1993), eFloras.org (2007a, b), IUCN (2007), RBGE (2007), USDA (2007a, b)
  5. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  6. ^ Northumbria Police: Security starts at the Garden Gate
  7. ^ Spray, M. (1981). Holly as a Fodder in England. Agricultural History Review 29 (2): 97. Available online (pdf file). British Agricultural History Society.
  8. ^ Cherokee: Gvnega adatasti (ᎬᏁᎦ ᎠᏓᏔᏍᏘ), Asi (ᎠᏏ).

Holly
File:Ilex-aquifolium (Europaeische
European Holly (Ilex aquifolium) leaves and fruit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
DC. ex A.Rich.
Genus: Ilex
L.
Species

About 600, see text

Holly (Ilex, pronounced /ˈaɪlɛks/)[1] is a genus of approximately 600 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family.

Contents

Description and ecology

) are dioecious: (above) shoot with flowers from male plant; (top right) male flower enlarged from female plant; (lower right) female flower enlarged, showing stamen and reduced, sterile stamens with no pollen.]]


Holly berries are somewhat toxic and will cause vomiting and/or diarrhea when ingested by people, partly due to the ilicin content. The fatal dose is estimated to be around twenty berries for adults. However they are extremely important food for numerous species of birds, and also are eaten by other wild animals. In the fall and early winter the berries are hard and apparently unpalatable. After being frozen or frosted several times, the berries soften, and become milder in taste. During winter storms, birds often take refuge in hollies, which provide shelter, protection from predators (by the spiny leaves), and food. The flowers are sometimes eaten by the larva of the Double-striped Pug moth (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata). Other Lepidoptera whose larvae feed on holly include Bucculatrix ilecella (which feeds exclusively on hollies) and The Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia). Holly is commonly referenced at Christmas time.

Having evolved numerous species that are endemic to islands and small mountain ranges, and being highly useful plants, many hollies are now becoming rare. Tropical species are especially often threatened by habitat destruction and overexploitation, and at least two have become extinct, with numerous others barely surviving.[2]

Selected species

Etymology

The origin of the word "holly" is Old English holegn, which is related to Old High German hulis. The French word for holly, houx, derives from the Old High German word hulis, huls, as do Low German/Low Franconian terms like Hülse or hulst. These Germanic words appear to be related to words for holly in Celtic languages, such as Welsh celyn, Breton kelen(n) and Irish cuilleann.

The botanical name ilex was the original Latin name for the Holm Oak (Quercus ilex), which has similar foliage to common holly, and is occasionally confused with it. Several romance languages use the Latin word acrifolium (turned into aquifolium in modern time), so Italian agrifoglio, Occitan grefuèlh, etc.

Uses

holly bush.]]
File:Highclere
A 'Highclere' holly variety.

In many western cultures, holly is a traditional Christmas decoration, used especially in wreaths. The wood is heavy, hard and whitish; one traditional use is for chess pieces, with holly for the white pieces, and ebony for the black. Other uses include turnery, inlay work and as firewood. Looms in the 1800s used holly for the spinning rod. Because holly is dense and can be sanded very smooth, the rod was less likely than other woods to snag threads being used to make cloth. Peter Carl Faberge used holly for cases for Faberge eggs as well as small objects such as hand seals.

Many of the hollies are widely used as ornamental plants in gardens and parks. Several hybrids and numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, among them the very popular Ilex × altaclerensis (I. aquifolium × I. perado) and Ilex × meserveae (I. aquifolium × I. rugosa).[5] Hollies are often used for hedges; the spiny leaves make them difficult to penetrate, and they take well to pruning and shaping.[6] In Heraldry, holly is used to symbolise truth.

Between the thirteenth and eighteenth century, before the introduction of turnips, holly was cultivated for use as winter fodder for cattle and sheep.[7] Less spiny varieties of holly were preferred, and in practice the leaves growing near the top of the tree have far fewer spines making them more suitable for fodder.

Several holly species are used to make caffeine-rich herbal teas. The South American Yerba Mate (I. paraguariensis) is boiled for the popular revigorating drinks Mate, and Chimarrão, and steeped in water for the cold Tereré. Guayusa (I. guayusa) is used both as a stimulant and as an admixture to the entheogenic tea ayahuasca; its leaves have the highest known caffeine content of any plant. In North and Central America, Yaupon (I. vomitoria), was used by southeastern Native Americans as a ceremonial stimulant and emetic known as "the black drink"[8]. As the name suggests, the tea's purgative properties were one of its main uses, most often ritually. Gallberry (Appalachian Tea, I. glabra) is a milder substitute for Yaupon and does not have caffeine. In China, the young leaf buds of I. kudingcha are processed in a method similar to green tea to make a tisane called kǔdīng chá (苦丁茶, roughly "bitter spikeleaf tea").

References

  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) (2007): 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Ilex
  3. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989) (PDF). Kāwaʻu, Hawaiian holly. United States Forest Service. http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/forestry/data/CommonTreesHI/CFT_Ilex_anomala.pdf. 
  4. ^ Ulloa Ulloa & Jørgensen (1993), eFloras.org (2007a, b), IUCN (2007), RBGE (2007), USDA (2007a, b)
  5. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  6. ^ Northumbria Police: Security starts at the Garden Gate
  7. ^ Spray, M. (1981). Holly as a Fodder in England. Agricultural History Review 29 (2): 97. Available online (pdf file). British Agricultural History Society.
  8. ^ Cherokee: Gvnega adatasti (ᎬᏁᎦ ᎠᏓᏔᏍᏘ), Asi (ᎠᏏ).


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Holly (Washington) article)

From Wikitravel

Holly is located on the Kitsap Peninsula in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.

Holly, at the end of the Seabeck-Holly Road has views of Hood Canal, the Olympic Mountains and sunsets. With an average of 68" of rain a year it is the greenest corner of the Kitsap Peninsula.

A waterside residential community with about 60 families (nearly half summer residents) and no commercial establishments, where little has changed in 20 or 30 years.

Around Holly you'll find majestic cedar, fir, maple, and wild cherry trees. Raccoons, foxes, coyotes, eagles, ospreys, dear, owls and eagles are common with bear, bobcat, otter and cougars sightings more rare.

The streams; Anderson Creek and Holly Creek, have the purest water because there is so little development.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HOLLY (Ilex Aquifolium), the European representative of a large genus of trees and shrubs of the natural order Ilicineae, containing about 170 species. The genus finds its chief development in Central and South America; is well developed in Asia, especially the Chinese -Japanese area, and has but few species in Europe, Africa and Australia. In Europe, where I. Aquifolium is the sole surviving species, the genus was richly represented during the Miocene period by forms at first South American and Asiatic, and later North American in type (Schimper, Paleont. veget. iii. 204, 1874). The leaves are generally leathery and evergreen, and are alternate and stalked; the flowers are commonly dioecious, are in axillary cymes, fascicles or umbellules, and have a persistent fourto five-lobed calyx, a white, rotate fouror rarely fiveor six-cleft corolla, with the four or five stamens adherent to its base in the male, sometimes hypogynous in the female flowers, and a twoto twelve-celled ovary; the fruit is a globose, very seldom ovoid, and usually red drupe, containing two to sixteen one-seeded stones.

The common holly, or Hulver (apparently the 07Xaa T Tpos of Theophrastus; 3 Ang.-Sax. holen or holegn; Mid. Eng. holyn or holin, whence holm and holmtree; 4 Welsh, celyn; Ger. Stechpalme, Hulse, Hulst; O. Fr. houx; and Fr. houlx), 5 I. Aquifolium, is an evergreen shrub or low tree, having smooth, ash-coloured bark, and wavy, pointed, smooth and glossy leaves, 2 to 3 in. long, with a spinous margin, raised and cartilaginous below, or, as commonly on the upper branches of the older trees, entire Hist. Plant. i. 9.3, iii. 3. I, and 4.6, et passim. On the aquifolium or aquifolia of Latin authors, commonly regarded as the holly, see A. de Grandsagne, Hist. Nat. de Pline, bk. xvi., "Notes," pp. 1 99, 206.

4 The term "holm," as indicative of a prevalence of holly, is stated to have entered into the names of several places in Britain. From its superficial resemblance to the holly, the tree Quercus Ilex, the evergreen oak, received the appellation of "holm-oak." Skeat (Etymolog. Dict., 1879) with reference to the word holly remarks: "The form of the base KUL (= Teutonic Hui.) is probably connected with Lat. culmen, a peak, culmus, a stalk; perhaps because the leaves are `pointed.'" Grimm (Deut. Worterb. Bd. iv.) suggests that the term Hulst, as the O.H.G. Hulis, applied to the butcher's broom, or knee-holly, in the earliest times used for hedges, may have reference to the holly as a protecting (hiillender) plant.

- a peculiarity alluded to by Southey in his poem The Holly Tree. The flowers, which appear in May, are ordinarily dioecious, as in all the best of the cultivated varieties in nurseries (Gard. Chron., 1877, i. 149). Darwin (Di d'. Forms of Flow., 18 77, p. 297) says of the holly: "During several years I have examined many plants, but have never found one that was really hermaphrodite." Shirley Hibberd, however (Gard. Chron., 1877, ii. 777), mentions the occurrence of "flowers bearing globose anthers well furnished with pollen, and also perfect ovaries." In his opinion, I. Aquifolium changes its sex from male to female with age. In the female flowers the stamens are destitute of pollen, though but slightly or not at all shorter than in the male flowers; the latter are more numerous than the female, and have a smaller ovary and a larger corolla, to which the filaments adhere for a greater length. The corolla in male plants falls off entire, whereas in fruit-bearers it is broken into separate Ilex Aquifolium. Shoot bearing leaves and fruit about z nat. size.

1. Flower with abortive stamens. 4. Fruit.

2. Flower with abortive pistil. 5. Fruit cut transversely 3. Floral diagram showing arrangement showing the four of parts in horizontal section. one-seeded stones. segments by the swelling of the young ovary. The holly occurs in Britain, north-east Scotland excepted, and in western and southern Europe, from as high as 62° N. lat. in Norway to Turkey and the Caucasus and in western Asia. It is found generally in forest glades or in hedges, and does not flourish under the shade of other trees. In England it is usually small, probably on account of its destruction for timber, but it may attain to 60 or 70 ft. in height, and Loudon mentions one tree at Claremont, in Surrey, of 80 ft. Some of the trees on Bleak Hill, Shropshire, are asserted to be 14 ft. in girth at some distance from the ground(N. and Q., 5th ser., xii. 508). The holly is abundant in France, especially in Brittany. It will grow in almost any soil not absolutely wet, but flourishes best in rather dry than moist sandy loam. Beckmann (Hist. of Invent., 1846, i. 193,) says that the plant which first induced J. di Castro to search for alum in Italy was the holly, which is there still considered to indicate that its habitat is aluminiferous. The holly is propagated by means of the seeds, which do not normally germinate until their second year, by whip-grafting and budding, and by cuttings of the matured summer shoots, which, placed in sandy soil and kept under cover of a hand-glass in sheltered situations, generally strike root in spring. Transplantation should be performed in damp weather in September and October, or, according to some writers, in spring or on mild days in winter, and care should be taken that the roots are not dried by exposure to the air. It is rarely injured by frosts in Britain, where its foliage and bright red berries in winter render it a valuable ornamental tree. The yield of berries has been noticed to be less when a warm spring, following on a wet winter season, has promoted excess of growth. There are numerous varieties of the holly. Some trees have yellow, and others white or even black fruit. In the fruitless variety laurifolia, " the most floriferous of all hollies" (Hibberd), the flowers are highly fragrant; the form known as femina is, on the other hand, remarkable for the number of its berries. The leaves in the unarmed varieties aureo-marginata and albomarginata are of great beauty, and in ferox they are studded with sharp prickles. The holly is of importance as a hedge-plant, and is patient of clipping, which is best performed by the knife. Evelyn's holly hedge at Say's Court, Deptford, was 400 ft. long, 9 ft. high and 5 ft. in breadth. To form fences, for which Evelyn recommends the employment of seedlings from woods, the plants should be 9 to 12 in. in height, with plenty of small fibrous roots, and require to be set 1 to 12 ft. apart, in wellmanured and weeded ground and thoroughly watered.

The wood of the holly is even-grained and hard, especially when from the heartwood of large trees, and almost as white as ivory, except near the centre of old trunks, where it is brownish. It is employed in inlaying and turning, and, since it stains well, in the place of ebony, as for teapot handles. For engraving it is inferior to box. When dry it weighs about 472 lb. per cub. ft. From the bark of the holly bird-lime is manufactured. From the leaves are obtainable a colouring matter named ilixanthin, ilicic acid, and a bitter principle, ilicin, which has been variously described by different analytical chemists. They are eaten by sheep and deer, and in parts of France serve as a winter fodder for cattle. The berries provoke in man violent vomiting and purging, but are eaten with immunity by thrushes and other birds. The larvae of the moths Sphinx ligustri and Phoxopteryx naevana have been met with on holly. The leaves are mined by the larva of a fly, Phytomyza ilicis, and both on them and the tops of the young twigs occurs the plant-louse Aphis ilicis (Kaltenbach, Pflanzenfeinde, 1 8 74, p. 427). The custom of employing holly and other plants for decorative purposes at Christmas is one of considerable antiquity, and has been regarded as a survival of the usages of the Roman Saturnalia, or of an old Teutonic practice of hanging the interior of dwellings with evergreens as a refuge for sylvan spirits from the inclemency of winter. A Border proverb defines an habitual story-teller as one that "lees never but when the hollen is green." Several popular superstitions exist with respect to holly. In the county of Rutland it is deemed unlucky to introduce it into a house before Christmas Eve. In some English rural districts the prickly and non-prickly kinds are distinguished as "he" and "she" holly; and in Derbyshire the tradition obtains that according as the holly brought at Christmas into a house is smooth or rough, the wife or the husband will be master. Holly that has adorned churches at that season is in Worcestershire and Herefordshire much esteemed and cherished, the possession of a small branch with berries being supposed to bring a lucky year; and Lonicerus mentions a notion in his time vulgarly prevalent in Germany that consecrated twigs of the plant hung over a door are a protection against thunder.

Among the North American species of Ilex are I. opaca, which resembles the European tree, the Inkberry, I. (Prinos) glabra, and the American Black Alder, or Winterberry, I. (Prinos) verticillata. Hooker (Fl. of Brit. India, i. 598, 606) enumerates twenty-four Indian species of Ilex. The Japanese I. crenata, and I. latifolia, a remarkably hardy plant, and the North American I. Cassine, are among the species cultivated in Britain. The leaves of several species of Ilex are used by dyers. The member of the genus most important economically is I. paraguariensis, the prepared leaves of which constitute Paraguay tea, or Mate. Knee holly is Ruscus aculeatus, or butcher's broom (see Broom); sea holly, Eryngium maritimum, an umbelliferous plant; and the mountain holly of America, Nemopanthes canadensis, also a member of the order Ilicineae.

Besides the works above mentioned, see Louden, Arboretum, ii. 506 (1844).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also holly

Contents

English

Alternative spellings

Proper noun

Singular
Holly

Plural
-

Holly

  1. A female given name, from the name of the tree.

Quotations

  • 1929 Joyce Lankester Brisley: More of Milly-Molly-Mandy. Chapter 8:
    Grandma said, "I used to know a little girl called Holly - she always had her dresses trimmed with red or green." Milly-Molly-Mandy thought that was quite a nice name.
  • 2006 Joyce Winters: Let Your Light Shine ISBN 160034593X page 209:
    "Holly, would you mind if I named my little girl 'Holly'? I mean, it's right around Christmas time, and I always think of holly with Christmas.

Simple English

Holly
File:Ilex-aquifolium (Europaeische
European Holly (Ilex aquifolium) leaves and fruit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
(unranked) Euasterids II
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
DC. ex A.Rich.
Genus: Ilex
L.
Species

About 600, see text

Holly is a type of bush with recognisable leaves. The leaves have sharp edges, and are often used to decorate a house on Christmas Day. Some types of holly are used to make tea.

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:







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