Aquifoliaceae (Holly family)
Holly is a native evergreen tree in Britain. It is found throughout the UK in deciduous woods on all soil types, but more frequently so on the west side of the country.
'I'lex' from the Latin name for the evergreen Holm Oak. This tree has some toothed leaves which bear some resemblance to Holly leaves.
'Aquifolium' means 'pointed leaves' in Latin
Propagated by seed and by cuttings. The tree likes humidity. Holly can be sensitive to frost, as was seen in the severe winter of 1962-3. Grows 15 ft in 20 years.
The wood is dense, white and even-grained and used to be used for carving engravers' blocks. It has also been used for inlay work. Cattle enjoy eating the nutritious leaves (in spite of its prickly look) and in the Lake District it used to be pollarded as winter fodder. The twigs were used to make bird-lime, a substance with which, for example, canaries were caught in India. Canaries were imported to be used in mines, since they are sensitive to gasses such as CO2. Their death would alert miners to the danger.