Skip to main content
  1. Family: Aquifoliaceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Ilex Tourn. ex L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Cosmopolitan.


    Aquifoliaceae, B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1968

    Trees or shrubs
    Leaves mostly coriaceous, entire to spinous-toothed; stipules small, persistent or soon falling
    Inflorescences solitary or fasciculate, usually composed of 1–few-flowered cymes
    Calyx-lobes 4–6(–9), glabrous or ciliolate
    Petals 4–6(–9), imbricate, ovate, elliptic or rounded, usually connate at the base
    Male flowers with 4–6(–9) stamens
    Female flowers with 4–6(–9) staminodes; ovary (2–)4–6(–22)-locular; stigma sessile, discoid, ± lobed Male flowers with 4–6(–9) stamens
    Female flowers with 4–6(–9) staminodes; ovary (2–)4–6(–22)-locular; stigma sessile, discoid, ± lobed
    Drupes usually with (1–)4–6(–many) 1(–2)-seeded pyrenes; stigma persistent.

    Aquifoliaceae, E. J. Mendes. Flora Zambesiaca 2:2. 1966

    Evergreen trees or shrubs.
    Stipules very small.
    Inflorescences axillary.
    Petals shortly connate at the base, imbricate.
    Stamens as many as the petals.
    Style absent.
    Ovules 1 in each loculus.
    Fruit of 4–5(9) single-seeded pyrenes.



    Native to:

    Alabama, Albania, Algeria, Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Arkansas, Assam, Austria, Azores, Bahamas, Baleares, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Borneo, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Central American Pac, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Corse, Costa Rica, Cuba, Delaware, Denmark, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Florida, France, Free State, French Guiana, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Gulf of Guinea Is., Guyana, Hainan, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Illinois, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jawa, Kentucky, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Korea, Kuril Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Leeward Is., Lesotho, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Madagascar, Madeira, Malawi, Malaya, Marquesas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexican Pacific Is., Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mississippi, Missouri, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, Netherlands, New Guinea, New York, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Nigeria, North Carolina, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Norway, Ogasawara-shoto, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pakistan, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Rhode I., Romania, Rwanda, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Sicilia, Sierra Leone, Society Is., Solomon Is., South Carolina, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sumatera, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tennessee, Thailand, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vermont, Vietnam, Virginia, West Himalaya, West Virginia, Windward Is., Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Extinct in:


    Introduced into:

    Bermuda, Lebanon-Syria, New Zealand North, New Zealand South

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Ilex Tourn. ex L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Nov 4, 2015 Julaihi et al [S 76822], Sarawak K000618518
    Harley, R.M. [54064], Brazil K001046982
    Harley, R.M. [24285], Brazil K001046989
    Harley, R.M. [7397], Brazil K001046990
    Harley, R.M. [15559], Brazil K001046999
    Harley, R.M. [26483], Brazil K001047000
    Harley, R.M. [25087], Brazil K001047003
    Harley, R.M. [25087], Brazil K001047004
    Harley, R.M. [25089], Brazil K001047005
    Hatschbach, G. [41699], Brazil K001047024
    Hatschbach, G. [70310], Brazil K001047025
    Hatschbach, G. [65577], Brazil K001047026
    Hatschbach, G. [47505], Brazil K001046998
    Hatschbach, G. [41619], Brazil K001047001
    Hatschbach, G. [71875], Brazil K001047010
    Hatschbach, G. [71864], Brazil K001047011
    Sucre, D. [7207], Brazil K001033748
    Mori, S.A. [11278], Brazil K001046995
    Mori, S.A. [13162], Brazil K001046996
    Santos, T.S. [2525], Brazil K001046994
    Giulietti, A.M. [1454], Brazil K001046997
    Ganev, W. [3096], Brazil K001046988
    Queiroz, L.P. [3818], Brazil K001046992
    Pirani, J. [1322], Brazil K001046978
    Furlan, A. [2024], Brazil K001046991
    Urbano [9354], Brazil K001033747
    Brazil 72091.000
    Mello-Silva, R. [11323], Brazil K001033743
    Mello-Silva, R. [11156], Brazil K001033746
    Cordeiro, I. [4127], Brazil K001047006
    Cordeiro, I. [7537], Brazil K001033749
    Barbosa, E. [619], Brazil K001047017
    Barbosa, E. [616], Brazil K001047018
    Barbosa, E. [656], Brazil K001047022
    Arbo, M.M. [4970], Brazil K001033742
    Irwin, H.S. [22670], Brazil K001047028
    Irwin, H.S. [28873], Brazil K001033741
    Semir, J. [4715], Brazil K001033740
    Kawasaki, M.L. [280], Brazil K001046979
    Kawasaki, M.L. [274], Brazil K001046980
    Saar, E. [5692], Brazil K001046993
    Alvarenga, D. [355], Brazil K001046987
    Oldenburger, F.H.F. [1655], Brazil K001046986
    Ribas, O.S. [3501], Brazil K001047013
    Ribas, O.S. [3268], Brazil K001047014
    Ribas, O.S. [3370], Brazil K001047015
    Ribas, O.S. [3162], Brazil K001047016
    Ribas, O.S. [3180], Brazil K001047021
    Ribas, O.S. [3502], Brazil K001047012
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 9023], India K001132114
    Acevedo-Rodriguez, P. [8260], Brazil K001046976
    Ferraz, E.M.N. [582], Brazil K001047023
    Cordeiro, J. [1769], Brazil K001047019
    Cordeiro, J. [1786], Brazil K001047020
    Thomas, W.W. [10038], Brazil K001046983
    Thomas, W.W. [10085], Brazil K001046984
    Meguro, M. [9014], Brazil K001047002
    Meguro, M. [9378], Brazil K001033739
    Prance, G.T. [P25052], Brazil K001047030
    Strang, H. [1137], Brazil K001033745
    Assis, L.C.S. [296], Brazil K001047027
    Austin, D.F. [7294], Brazil K001046981
    Krieger, L. [15303], Brazil K001033744
    Krieger, L. [16372], Brazil K001033750
    Funch, L.S. [1055], Brazil K001046985
    Matinelli, G. [12346], Brazil K001047029
    Did Ferrreira, C.A. [10943], Brazil K001046977


    First published in Sp. Pl.: 125 (1753)


    Kew Bulletin

    • Chen, S. K., Ma, H. Y., Feng, Y. X., Barriera, G. & Loizeau, P. A. (2008). Aquifoliaceae. In: Z. Y. Wu, P. H. Raven & D. Y. Hong (eds), Flora of China, Vol. 11: 359 - 438. Science Press, Beijing & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
    • Andrews, S. (2002). Aquifoliaceae. In: E. Soepadmo, L. G. Saw & R. C. K. Chung (eds), Tree Flora of Sabah & Sarawak Vol. 4: 1 - 27. Ampang Press Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur.
    • IUCN (2001). IUCN red list categories and criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland and Cambridge.
    • Galle, F. C. (1997). Hollies: the genus Ilex, pp. 79 - 102. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
    • Hu, S. Y. (1950). The genus Ilex in China, III. J. Arnold Arbor. 31: 39 - 80.
    • Hu, S. Y. (1949). The genus Ilex in China I - II. J. Arnold Arbor. 30: 233 - 387.
    • Craib, W. G. (1931). Florae Siamensis Enumeratio, Vol. 1: 277 - 278. Siam Society, Bangkok.
    • Turrill, W. B. (1914). LXX. — Decades Kewenses. Bull. Misc. Inform., Kew 10: 377 - 381.

    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • —F.T.A. 1: 359.

    Flora Zambesiaca

    • Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 60 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl. 1: 125 (1753)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Loes. in Nova Acta Leop.-Carol. Deutsch. Akad. Naturf. 78: 8–500 (1901)
    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 60 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 125 (1753)


    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Science Photographs
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew