What plant is that?

Detail of Holly leaf     American Holly Tree
Photo credits: © Francis R. Underwood 2013

The mystery plant for December is a tree with alternate, spiny-toothed, evergreen leaves. The leaves are lustrous, leathery and dark green
above and paler beneath. The fruit is a bright red berry although technically it is called a drupe. It is an uncommon tree in Rhode Island and is found mainly in the southern part of the state and in Tiverton and Little Compton as well.  This tree can reach a height of 50 feet and
grows in various habitats, mainly forests and woods.

(The left photo shows the detail of the spines on the teeth on a sapling and the right photo shows a mature tree growing in the Great Swamp)

It’s…

Botanical Name:
  Ilex opaca
Common Name:
  American Holly
Family:
  Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)
Habitat:
  Woods and forests

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