The Full Wiki

Ilex vomitoria: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ilex vomitoria
Foliage and fruit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Species: I. vomitoria
Binomial name
Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon Holly, Yaupon, or Cassina; the latter shared with Ilex cassine), is a species of holly native to southeastern North America, occurring in United States from Maryland south to Florida and west to Oklahoma (only in the extreme southeast)[1] and Texas, and in Mexico in Chiapas.[2]

It is an evergreen shrub or small tree reaching 5-9 m tall, with smooth, light gray bark and slender, hairy shoots. The leaves are alternate, ovate to elliptical with a rounded apex and crenate or coarsely serrated margin, 1-4.5 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, glossy dark green above, slightly paler below. The flowers are 5–5.5 mm diameter, with a white four-lobed corolla. The fruit is a small round or red (occasionally yellow) drupe 4-6 mm diameter containing four pits, which are dispersed by birds eating the fruit. The species may be distinguished from the similar Ilex cassine by its smaller leaves with a rounded, not acute apex.[3][4][5][1][6]



An Eastern Bluebird eating the bright red berries from an Ilex vomitoria.

It generally occurs in coastal areas in well-drained sandy soils, and can be found on the upper edges of brackish and salt marshes, sandy hammocks, coastal sand dunes, inner-dune depressions, sandhills, maritime forests, nontidal forested wetlands, well-drained forests and pine flatwoods.[3]


Food for birds

The fruit are an important food for many birds, including Florida Duck, American Black Duck, Mourning Dove, Ruffed Grouse, Bobwhite Quail, Wild Turkey, Northern Flicker, sapsuckers, Cedar waxwing, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, and White-throated Sparrow. Mammals that eat the fruit include Nine-banded Armadillo, American Black Bear, Gray Fox, raccoon and skunks. The foliage and twigs are browsed by White-tailed Deer.[3]

Cultivation and uses

Native Americans used the leaves and stems to brew a tea called asi or black drink for male-only purification and unity rituals. The ceremony included vomiting, and Europeans incorrectly believed that it was the drink itself that caused it (hence the Latin name). The active ingredient is actually caffeine, and the vomiting was either learned or as a result of the great quantities in which they drank the beverage coupled with fasting.[3][7]


  1. ^ a b Oklahoma Biological Survey: Ilex vomitoria
  2. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Ilex vomitoria
  3. ^ a b c d USDA Plant Guide: yaupon Ilex vomitoria (doc file)
  4. ^ Florida Department of Environmental Protection: Florida's Hollies
  5. ^ Martin, C. O., & Mott, S. P. (1997). Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria): Section 7.5.10,U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wildlife Resources Management Manual. Technical Report EL-97-16, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS. Available online (pdf file)
  6. ^ Bioimages: Ilex vomitoria
  7. ^ Hudson, C. M. (1976). The Southeastern Indians. University of Tennessee Press ISBN 0-87049-248-9.


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Aquifoliales
Familia: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Species: Ilex vomitoria


Ilex vomitoria Sol. ex Aiton


Hort. kew. 1:170. 1789

Vernacular names

English: Yaupon Holly, Yaupon, Cassina


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address