Ilex cassine

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Ilex cassine
Ilex cassine leaves and immature fruits
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
I. cassine
Binomial name
Ilex cassine
Ilex cassine range map 4.png
Natural range in United States

Ilex cassine is a holly native to the southeastern coast of North America, in the United States from Virginia to southeast Texas, in Mexico in Veracruz, and in the Caribbean on the Bahamas, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. It is commonly known as dahoon holly[1] or cassena, the latter derived from the Timucua name for I. vomitoria.[2]

It is a large shrub or small tree growing to 10–13 m tall. The leaves are evergreen, 6–15 cm long and 2–4 cm broad, glossy dark green, entire or with a few small spines near the apex of the leaf. The flowers are white, with a four-lobed corolla. The fruit is a red drupe, 5–6 mm in diameter, containing four seeds.[3][4][5]

As with other hollies, it is dioecious with separate male and female plants. Only the females have berries, and a male pollenizer must be within range for bees to pollinate them.

There are three varieties:[1]

  • Ilex cassine var. cassine (United States, Caribbean)
  • Ilex cassine var. angustifolia Aiton. (United States)
  • Ilex cassine var. mexicana (Turcz.) Loes. (Mexico)


Ilex cassine is grown in warmer climates as an ornamental plant for the attractive bright red berries set against the glossy green leaves. It is known to grow to 30 feet tall. Its original range was close to the coast, but the range has been extended by planting.


  1. ^ a b c "Ilex cassine". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  2. ^ Austin, Daniel F. (2004). Florida Ethnobotany. CRC Press. pp. 590–591. ISBN 978-0-8493-2332-4.
  3. ^ Florida Department of Environmental Protection: Florida's Hollies Archived 2010-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  5. ^ "Ilex cassine Fact Sheet". Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-07.

External links[edit]