Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Yaupon Holly

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Yaupon Holly

Lilly Browning is the Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

Yaupon Holly, Ilex vomitoria, is a great native plant that can be used as a shrub or as a small, specimen tree. They have tiny leaves and produce white, spring through summer flowers. The red fruit provides food for wildlife in the late fall and into the winter. It will grow 15-30 feet tall and 6-20 feet wide. They prefer wet or partially moist soil. They enjoy a sunny to partial sunny location in the landscape. They have a high salt tolerance, so it is a plant to think about if you live on the coast.

This holly also has good wind resistance. It can sucker and produce a thicket, if you are looking for a good screening hedge. Consider planting Yaupon Holly at least 30 feet away from your house or any structure, as they are quite flammable. Being a native plant, it attracts birds and butterflies. If you want the berries, some of which are red, others are orange and others are yellow, you will have to obtain a female plant. Both male and female yaupons have flowers, so don’t rely on that to determine whether or not you’ll have berries. If you prefer not to have berries, the dwarf variety ‘Nana’ does not produce berries.

You can find out more about this great plant, including what’s up with its Latin name at this site:


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