Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Nemopanthus mucronatus (L.) Loes.
AQUIFOLIACEAE (Holly Family)
EtymologyNemopanthus means having thread-like stalks, from the Greek: nema = thread + pous = foot + anthos = flower; mucronatus means pointed in Latin.
Synonyms (Common Name)Bog Holly, False Holly
DescriptionSlender and many-branched, mountain holly is a deciduous, broad-leaved shrub that grows up to 10 feet high. Its branches are alternate and have a purplish hue when young; older bark is smooth and gray. Mountain holly's leaf stalks are reddish- purple.
Wetland indicator statusOBL
Plant Heightto 10 feet
LeavesDeciduous, alternate, simple, entire (occasionally with a few small teeth), 3/4 -- 2 3/8" long; elliptical to oblong, with a single, tiny, pointed bristle at the tip; smooth and thin; reddish-purple stalks lack stipule at base; leaves are clustered toward tips of the twigs; yellow in autumn.
Flower/InflorescenceYellowish-white, tiny (1/16 -- 1/8"), 4-5 petals, on stalks up to 1" long. Male and female flowers on different plants; male flowers in clusters in leaf axils, female flowers solitary.
Flowering PeriodMay-June
FruitBerry with 3-5 seeds, small (1/4"), dull red -- not shiny; on slender stalks (to 1" long).
Fruiting PeriodAugust-September.
HabitatShrub swamps, wooded swamps, bogs, margins of ponds and lakes.
RangeNewfoundland to Minnesota; south to West Virginia and Indiana.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett