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Plants of the UNF Campus

Ilex cassine - Dahoon holly
Family Aquifoliaceae


Approximately 400 holly species are native to the Americas, Europe and Asia, with one species in Africa. The dahoon holly is native to the southeastern U.S. and south into Mexico and Cuba. This species is dioecious. Young trees are narrow in profile but the tree develops a rounder crown with age. Seed-bearing plants have an abundance of colorful red fruits in winter. Pollen-bearing plants do not set fruit. The fruits are valuable as wildlife food. The commonest hollies in cultivation in north Florida are hybrids of this species and the American holly, Ilex opaca. They are similar in appearance to the dahoon holly but are more drought tolerant. Unfortunately, it has become difficult to find dahoon hollies in north Florida gardens and nurseries. 


See wild plants on the trails by Lake Oneida.


Medium-sized tree to thirty feet tall or more.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun

Water: somewhat drought tolerant when established, may benefit from irrigation during a prolonged drought

Soil: very adaptable, no special requirements

Wild plants are found in low or wet sites. Dahoon holly has some drought tolerance but grows best in moist or irrigated gardens.

Ilex cassine