(Ilex decidua)
The Holly Family (Aquifoliaceae)

A small tree or large bushy shrub with light gray bark and glossy, green, deciduous leaves arranged alternately along the stems. Also known as Possumhaw.


Found in a wide variety of areas; lowlands and swamps to ravines and rich upland areas. Able to withstand flooding.

Interesting Facts: 

Showy in winter when bright colored berries contrast with bare, light colored stems. Once frozen and thawed, the fruit of this holly and other hollies are more desirable to wildlife.

Showy red, occasionally orange to yellow berries, .25”, clustered along the stems, remain after leaves fall.
White, .25” in size, clustered on short spurs with male and female flowers found on separate plants.
Wildlife value: 
Fruit consumed by many mammals, including opossums and raccoons; songbirds and game birds, such as bluebirds, wild turkey and quail.
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 1.00-3.00 inches
Tree height: 15.00-30.00 feet

Where to find Deciduous Holly on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

PAW - Pawpaw Loop Trail 5.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.