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Ilex vomitoria f. pendula (Weeping Yaupon Holly)

Yaupon Holly, Weeping Yaupon Holly

Weeping yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria f. pendula

Ilex vomitoria f. pendula (Weeping Yaupon Holly) is a unique and visually appealing evergreen shrub, valued for its weeping habit, attractive foliage, and bright red berries.
It thrives effortlessly, adaptable to both dry and wet locations, and shows resilience to drought, salt, and urban environments. Its adaptability to different environments, coupled with its benefits to wildlife and low maintenance requirements, makes it a desirable addition to a variety of landscape settings.

Ilex vomitoria f. pendula: An In-depth Look

Ilex vomitoria f. pendula, commonly known as the Weeping Yaupon Holly, is a distinctive and ornamental evergreen shrub or small tree native to the southeastern United States. It is noted for its unique weeping growth habit, with branches that droop downwards, creating an elegant and graceful appearance. The leaves are small, leathery, and dark green, providing year-round interest.

Native: Native from Virginia to Florida, Arkansas, Texas, and Mexico. It is found on coastal dunes, maritime forests, upland woodlands of various mixtures, and pine flatwoods. Mostly, it inhabits well-drained sites but also occurs on streambanks, wet woodlands, and floodplains.

Plant Type and Habit: This is an evergreen shrub with a weeping or pendulous growth habit. It is often grown as a small tree or large shrub, and its distinct form makes it a focal point in landscape designs.

Size: It usually grows to about 15-30 feet (4.5 to 9 meters) and can spread 6-12 feet wide (1.8 to 3.6 meters), depending on pruning and training.

Flowers: Weeping Yaupon Holly is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate trees. It produces small but attractive white flowers in the spring. The flowers are not very conspicuous but add a subtle charm to the plant.

Fruits: One of its notable features is the production of bright red berries on pollinated female plants. The berries are highly ornamental and persist through the winter, providing a striking contrast against the dark green foliage. Both male and female plants are needed to produce attractive red berries.

Foliage: The small, leathery, dark green leaves, 1.5 inches long (4 cm), are adorned with toothed margin leaves. Evergreen, they provide year-round interest. Both leaves and twigs contain caffeine, and American Indians used them to prepare tea, which they drank in large quantities ceremonially and then vomited back up, hence the species name.

Bark: The bark is smooth and gray, becoming more textured with age.

Uses: It is used ornamentally in landscaping, often as a specimen plant, hedge, privacy screen, windbreak, in foundation plantings, or in mixed shrub borders. Its unique shape also makes it suitable for bonsai. The red-fruited branches make lovely home decorations.

Hardiness: Weeping Yaupon Holly is hardy in USDA zones 7-9, tolerating a range of climatic conditions.

Wildlife: The flowers attract bees, and the berries are a food source for birds and other wildlife, especially in winter when food is scarce.

Toxicity: The berries are toxic to humans if ingested and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Deer and Rabbit: It is generally resistant to deer and rabbits, making it a good choice in areas where these animals are a concern.

Drought: Once established, it is drought-tolerant, though it appreciates occasional watering during prolonged dry periods.

Salt: It is notably tolerant of salt, both in terms of soil salinity and salt spray. This makes it a suitable choice for coastal landscapes and gardens in seaside regions.

Invasiveness: This plant is not considered invasive and typically stays contained within its planted area.

Benefits: Apart from its ornamental value, it provides ecological benefits, including serving as a food source for wildlife. It is also low-maintenance, requiring minimal care once established.

Yaupon Holly Growing Tips

Light: Prefers full sun to partial shade. Full sun encourages more prolific berry production and denser foliage.

Soil: Adaptable to a range of soil types, but well-drained soil is ideal. Tolerates sandy and clay soils, as well as acidic to slightly alkaline pH levels.

Water: Requires moderate watering. Once established, it is drought-tolerant but benefits from occasional watering during extended dry periods. Tolerates occasional flooding.

Fertilizer: Feed with a balanced fertilizer in early spring. Avoid over-fertilization, which can lead to excessive growth at the expense of berry production.

Pruning: Prune to shape in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Pruning is also necessary to maintain the desired weeping form. Promptly remove root suckers unless naturalization is desired.

Propagation: Propagate by seed, semi-hardwood cuttings. Seeds germinate best if planted immediately after collection. Semi-hardwood cuttings taken in late fall can be made to root.

Pests and Diseases: Generally resistant to pests and diseases. Watch for leafminers, spider mites, whiteflies, scale insects, leaf spot, and powdery mildew.

Requirements

Hardiness 7 - 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Aquifoliaceae
Genus Ilex
Common names Yaupon Holly
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 15' - 30'
(4.6m - 9.1m)
Spread 6' - 12'
(180cm - 3.7m)
Spacing 72" - 144"
(180cm - 3.7m)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low, Average, High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southwest, Southeast, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Salt, Dry Soil, Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Bees
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Hedges And Screens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Ilex cornuta ‘Needlepoint’ (Chinese Holly)
Ilex cassine (Dahoon)
Ilex Golden Oakland® (Holly)
Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly)
Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)
Ilex decidua (Possumhaw)

Recommended Companion Plants

Morella cerifera (Southern Wax Myrtle)
Vaccinium arboreum (Sparkleberry)
Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar)
Ardisia escallonioides (Island Marlberry)
Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia)
Callicarpa americana (American Beautyberry)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

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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 - 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Aquifoliaceae
Genus Ilex
Common names Yaupon Holly
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 15' - 30'
(4.6m - 9.1m)
Spread 6' - 12'
(180cm - 3.7m)
Spacing 72" - 144"
(180cm - 3.7m)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low, Average, High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southwest, Southeast, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Salt, Dry Soil, Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Bees
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Hedges And Screens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens
Garden Styles 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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