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Hollies

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At this time of the year there's nothing more beautiful than all these red berries on these Hollies around town. Of course, not only are they pretty berries to look at this kind of dormant time of the year, but they are also good food for waxwings, and other birds and things like that.

Holly is probably one of the most adapted shrubs that we have - shrubs or trees. I'm standing in a tree, a standard size tree that can get fairly large. So you can use these if you need a big type of border or something, or if you need a smaller shrub you can get these in dwarf. You can get dwarf Burford, which is this one with the little pricks on it. Or you can get the Chinese type, which really has a lot of thorns in it, and it comes as a standard as well as normal.

Now the common, the actual native, is called Yaupon Holly, and it grows into a tree and also is used commonly as a little border plant. You can plant these and ten years later never have to prune them. So chose your Hollies well. They are very cold tolerant, cold resistant, they'll never freeze back, and they are all females so they have a lot of these berries.

Now of course when there are berries in the landscape people are always saying, "Well, will it hurt my children if they eat them." It doesn't hurt the birds to eat them so you would think it wouldn't hurt the children. I will give you one kind of clue the species name of the Yaupon Holly is vomitoria. So if you eat a bunch of these or one of your children eats a bunch of these you can expect that vomitoria to become very apparent.

This is Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.

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