Possumhaw (IIex decidua)

Location and Notable Facts

  • Other names
    • Deciduous Holly
    • Winterberry
  • Scientific Family
    • Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)
  • Discovery
    •  N/A
  • Size (Width/Height/Growth/DBH)
    •  A small tree 20 to 30 feet tall 
  • Colors
    •  White flowers
  • Bloom/Seed/Fruit
    • Berries remain after leaf fall, making it attractive all winter.
    • Flowers April–May. Some plants may be male, others female, or flowers may be perfect (containing both male and female parts). Petals 4–6, white, egg-shaped; stamens 4–6.
    • Fruits September–October. Globe-shaped berry; orange to red; ¼ inch across; solitary or 2 or 3 together; seeds usually 4, pale yellow. Berries persistent on branches most of the winter after leaves are shed. As with other hollies, only female trees produce berries.


Photo credit to NC State University and University of Arkansas

  • Leaf Arrangement 
    •  Deciduous, alternate, serrulate and oval in shape


Photo credit to University of Redlands

  • Bark Arrangement 
    •  Light gray to brown roughened 

unnamedPhoto credit to University of Texas

  • Invasive/Non-invasive
    •  Non-invasive
  • Native/Non-native
    •  Native
    • Found throughout Arkansas in bottom land and mountainous sites.
  • Pests/Disease
    •  None
  • Comparisons to similar trees
    • Waxmyrtle
    • Gum Belly
  • Usefulness
    •  Ornamental 
  • Local Location / History:  
    • Located in front of the Hot Springs Intracity Transit Depot, 100 Broadway Terrace