Holly trees in the Burren

Common name:
Ilex aquifolium
Aquifoliaceae- The Holly Family
Flowering period:
May to July
roadsides, hedgerows, woodlands, rocky ground
Conservation Status:
Common throughout the Burren

Dark green prickly leaves of the Holly tree can be seen throughout the Burren. Holly is one of the few evergreen trees that are native to Ireland

Short description: 

A small evergreen tree with dark green spiky leaves. Older trees have leaves with smoother edges.

Flowers are small, white, four petaled, opening in early May.

Noteworthy characteristics:

Both male and female flowers occur on separate trees.  Female trees produce red berries which can be seen throughout the winter months

Uses and other points of interest:

Holly berries provide a very  important food source for birds during the winter.

The druids regarded holly as a symbol of continued life and hope in midwinter.

Holly is slow growing and may take years to establish itself from seed.

Holly is seen as a symbol of Christmas

Personal note:

Holly is a delight to see throughout the winter months in the Burren. I particularly love the amazing bonsai holly trees that can be found on limestone pavement.

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