Spiny holly

!ilex cassine leaf copy
On return path of the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, a real Florida holly, dahoon holly (Ilex casino) is full of showy red berries. Unlike some of the well-know “northern” hollies, which have glossy leaves with very visible spines, dahoon holly has tiny teeth on its leaves, pictured above.

Hollies are dioecious: Male and female flowers are on different plants, so we know from the berries that the fruiting plant at ORCA is a girl …

!Ilex cassine (3) copy

Because it has red berries at the same time of year, Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) was commonly — and mistakenly — called Florida holly, but this Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Category 1 invasive pest plant, pictured below, has compound leaves and no teeth.

!schinus-terebinthifolius-w-ripe-fruit

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