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Ilex glabra

Ilex glabra (L.) A. Gray

 

Inkberry, Gallberry, Bitter Gallberry, Evergreen Winterberry, Inkberry Holly, Appalachian Tea

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAquifolialesHollies and some fairly obscure genera
FamilyAquifoliaceaeHolly family
GenusIlexLatin for “holly oak” (rather than holly!)
Speciesglabra“Smooth or hairless”

About plant names...

Inkberry, which is closely related to holly, is a North American native.

Identification: Plants are rounded shrubs 4-8' (1.2-2.4 m) tall. Leaves are dark green, shiny, 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) × ¼-½" (8.4-12 mm), roughly oval, and slightly toothed near the tips. Inkberry is dioecious—male and female flowers appear on the same plant. Both flowers are inconspicuous, cream-colored and often tinged with green, about ¼" (6.3 mm) in diameter, with six petals. Male flowers are in clusters, while female flowers are solitary. Fruits are clusters of black berries, each about ¼" (6.3 mm) in diameter.

Edibility: Tea made from the dried, roasted leaves contains caffeine, and tastes similar to yaupon tea.

Online References:

Ilex glabra on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Ilex glabra at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

Ilex glabra at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Ilex glabra at the Ohio State University PLANTFacts database

Ilex glabra at Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum (PDF)

Ilex glabra on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Ilex glabra on FLORIDATA

Ilex glabra at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Ilex glabra (Inkberry, Gallberry, Bitter Gallberry, Evergreen Winterberry, Inkberry Holly, Appalachian Tea)

6/14/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Ilex glabra description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Ilex glabra (Inkberry, Gallberry, Bitter Gallberry, Evergreen Winterberry, Inkberry Holly, Appalachian Tea)

9/20/2014 · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Ilex glabra (Inkberry, Gallberry, Bitter Gallberry, Evergreen Winterberry, Inkberry Holly, Appalachian Tea)

6/14/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Ilex glabra (Inkberry, Gallberry, Bitter Gallberry, Evergreen Winterberry, Inkberry Holly, Appalachian Tea)

6/14/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Ilex glabra (Inkberry, Gallberry, Bitter Gallberry, Evergreen Winterberry, Inkberry Holly, Appalachian Tea)

6/15/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Ilex glabra (Inkberry, Gallberry, Bitter Gallberry, Evergreen Winterberry, Inkberry Holly, Appalachian Tea)

6/14/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Range: Zones 4-9:

About this map...