Hainault Forest Website

Tree identification

Holly Ilex aquifolium

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Not all Holly leaves have prickly spines. Red berries are popular at Christmastide and develop on the female trees..
Holly has separate male and female trees. These are male flowers. Female flowers
Male flowers showing the four stamens and the anthers  with pollen.
Normally thought of as bushes, the Holly can reach massive proportions and there are some good examples in Hainault Lodge and on Cabin Hill. This trunk has a girth of  277 cm. Female flowers showing ovary. The male stamens present do not develop and are non functional.

 

HOLLY Ilex aquifolium

 

Holly is found throughout the forest, especially in the woodland areas and the Hainault Lodge Reserve. Because it is constantly cut and cleared to open up woodland glades, it is usually found as scrub or bushes where it often sends out suckers. There are, however some very good example of holly trees on Cabin Hill and a very large tree in Hainault Lodge Reserve. It is a familiar tree with its tough prickly leaves although the leaf is often smooth or with few prickles especially on large trees.  It is best known for its red berries at Christmastide when it is collected for wreathes and table decorations. Holly is dioecious, that is, trees are either male or female,  berries being only found on the female bushes.