AquifoliaceaeHolly family





Identification
  - Leaves alternate, spiraled, usually crenate.
  - Tiny triangular stipules that dry in place.
  - Green layer in bark.
  - Small, white, 4-5-parted flowers with fused corolla.
  - Fruit a few-seeded berry with persistent dome-shaped style.

Diagnosis: Trees or hemi-epiphytes, small persistent free stipules, leaves alternate, spiraled, usually crenate, rarely almost entire, some with minute pits below, inner bark of trunk with a thin green layer.

Local distribution: Widespread.

Similar families
Symplocaceae: midvein sunken above, without green layer in bark, no stipules.
Theaceae: leaves distichous, lacking green layer in bark, no stipules.

Diversity: Total: 1 genus, 9 species. Trees and large hemi-epiphytes: 1 genus, 9 species.

Comments: Several species are somewhat plastic in growth form and can appear as either hemi-epiphytes or free-standing trees. The trees often have numerous sucker stems around the base of the trunk and often the main trunk dies and decomposes, leaving a ring of suckers.



Credits: Images and text copyright 2000-2007, William A. Haber, http://efg.cs.umb.edu/