Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Ilex glabra (L.) A. Gray
EtymologyIlex is from the Latin name for Quercus ilex (Holm oak), an evergreen species with spiny leaves that resemble holly leaves; glabra is Latin for without hairs.
Synonyms (Common Name)Bitter Gallberry
DescriptionAn evergreen, broad-leaved shrub, inkberry grows between 3-10' tall. The bark is grayish; its many branches and twigs are covered with fine, gray hairs. Inkberry's leaves remain conspicuously shiny and green in fall and winter as well as in spring and summer.
Wetland indicator statusFACW-
Plant Height3-10 feet
LeavesEvergreen, alternate, bluntly-toothed above middle, 1-2" long; oblanceolate to oblong, with wedge-shaped base and pointed tip; shiny, leathery, smooth; underside dotted with small pits.
Flower/InflorescenceMale and female flowers on separate plants, inconspicuous, white. Male flowers: in small clusters in leaf axils; female flowers: borne singly in leaf axils.
Flowering PeriodJune-July
FruitBerry-like drupe, small (to 3/16"), black, with 4-9 tiny nutlets; on stalks 3/8" long, singly in leaf axils.
Fruiting PeriodAugust-November, persistent.
HabitatWooded swamps, wet woods, pond margins, bogs; on Coastal Plain.
RangeNova Scotia to Florida and Louisiana.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett