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Ilex cassine (Dahoon)

Dahoon

Ilex cassine, Dahoon, red berries, evergreen shrub, Aquifoliaceae, Berry, holly, Ilex, winter shrub
Ilex cassine, Dahoon, red berries, evergreen shrub, Aquifoliaceae, Berry, holly, Ilex, winter shrub

Particularly resistant to pests and diseases, Ilex cassine (Dahoon) is a single-trunked, small, evergreen tree with an open, oval to pyramidal canopy. The alternate, shiny dark green leaves, 2-3 in. long (5-7 cm), are smooth, supple, and adorned with a few serrations near their tips. Dahoon is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate trees. It produces abundant small greenish-white flowers in spring, followed by prodigious amounts of attractive bright red berries on pollinated female plants. Extremely showy, they ripen in fall, persist into winter, and enliven the winter landscape unless birds, squirrels, and other small mammals devour them. Providing excellent year-round interest, Dahoon is a popular landscape plant often tightly clipped into a tall evergreen screen. Both male and female plants are needed to produce attractive red berries.

  • Grows up to 20-30 ft. tall (600-900 cm) and 8-12 ft. wide (240-360 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in average, moist to wet soils. Tolerates standing water as well as drier locations with some watering. Moderate tolerance to drought and salt spray. Tolerant of urban pollution.
  • Good choice as a specimen or street tree. It is ideal for naturalizing in moist locations, bog gardens, rain gardens, or near ponds and streams. It can be grown in containers or above-ground planters, as a screen or hedge. This tree has been successfully grown in urban areas where air pollution, poor drainage, compacted soil, and/or drought are common.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Mites may infest the foliage on trees planted on dry sites.
  • Needs little pruning to develop a strong structure.
  • Propagate by seeds, which germinate in one year, or by cuttings. Cuttings are preferred. Seeds germinate the best if planted immediately after collection.
  • Native to the southeastern coast of North America, in the United States from Virginia to southeast Texas, in Mexico in Veracruz, and in the Caribbean on the Bahamas, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.

Requirements

Hardiness 7 - 11
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Aquifoliaceae
Genus Ilex
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' - 30'
(6.1m - 9.1m)
Spread 8' - 12'
(240cm - 3.7m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southwest, Southeast, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Salt, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Hedges And Screens, Patio And Containers, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Ilex vomitoria f. pendula (Weeping Yaupon Holly)
Ilex cornuta ‘Needlepoint’ (Chinese Holly)
Ilex Golden Oakland® (Holly)
Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly)
Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)
Ilex decidua (Possumhaw)

Recommended Companion Plants

Hibiscus coccineus (Scarlet Rose Mallow)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (Button Bush)
Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire)
Magnolia virginiana (Sweet Bay Magnolia)
Acer rubrum (Red Maple)
Agarista populifolia (Florida Hobblebush)
Carpinus caroliniana (American Hornbeam)
Cornus foemina (Swamp Dogwood)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Small Trees and Shrubs That Attract Birds
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Choosing Your Ideal Hedge: A Guide to Top Shrubs for Any Garden
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December Birth Flower: What is my Birth Flower?
Create a Garden with Great Winter Interest
Shrubs and Trees with Colorful Fruits and Berries in Winter
Native Plant Alternatives to Ilex aquifolium (English Holly)
Attractive Evergreen Shrubs and Trees with Red Fruits and Berries
Attractive Deciduous Shrubs and Trees with Red Fruits and Berries
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 7 - 11
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Aquifoliaceae
Genus Ilex
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' - 30'
(6.1m - 9.1m)
Spread 8' - 12'
(240cm - 3.7m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southwest, Southeast, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Salt, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Hedges And Screens, Patio And Containers, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Ilex (Holly)
Guides with
Ilex (Holly)
Not sure which Ilex (Holly) to pick?
Compare Now

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