Dahoon holly, Dahoon
Ilex cassine

Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen tree in moist to wet locations.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A common element of wetland thickets and swamp margins.
Widely cultivated. Available in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery (561-641-9488) and at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296)..
Small to medium or rarely a large tree with variable crowns composed of numerous branches. Trunks often short, branching near the ground, 6-12 inches in diameter. Bark whitish to grayish to almost black, often covered with numerous lichens and other epiphytes. Leaves flat, leathery 2-4 inches long, dark above, paler beneath.
Typically 10-30 feet in height; to 68 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Moderate to slow.
Southeastern United States west to Texas and south to Miami Dade County and the Monroe County mainland; Bahamas, Cuba, Mexico and Central America. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Swamps and moist forests.
Wet to moist, moderately well-drained to poorly-drained organic or sandy soils, often with acid pH.
Nutritional Requirements:
High; requires rich organic soils for optimal growth.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate to low; requires moist to wet soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak in spring.
A 1/4" diameter drupe, usually red, sometimes yellow or orange. Mostly ripening in the fall. Edible but not tasty.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Deer browse the young growth. Small mammals, turkey, quail, red-eyed vireos and other songbirds eat the fruits.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seed after the fruit is fully ripe. Clean and plant right away; the seeds do not store well. Plant in a container with at least 2" of soil. Sprinkle soil to just cover the seeds. Place in partial shade. Also grown from cuttings, best treated with a rooting hormone.
This small tree is excellent for low spots in the garden. The red berries make an excellent holiday decoration.

Don & Joyce Gann
George D. Gann
George D. Gann
Bark with lichens
Steven W. Woodmansee
Shirley Denton