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Plants of the UNF Campus

Ilex glabra - Gallberry
Family Aquifoliaceae


Approximately 400 holly species are native to the Americas, Europe and Asia, with one species in Africa. They are shrubs and trees. This species is native to the eastern United States. It tends to grow as an open, evergreen shrub to eight to ten feet tall. It often suckers to form colonies. Because it sprouts readily from its root system, gallberry recovers quickly from forest fires. Black berries produced in late fall and winter are used as food for wildlife.


See plants in the natural areas of campus, in open woodlands.


Medium shrub from about four to eight feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: sun to shade

Water: moist to well-drained soil, drought tolerant when established

Soil: adaptable to soil types, no special requirements

This plant grows best in Jacksonville in nearly any site that is not flooded. It is very adaptable, tolerating sunny, shady, moist and dry sites. The wild type is a leggy, open shrub that is not suitable for a formal garden. Garden forms have been selected for their dense, compact growth.