Saturday, October 10, 2009

The American Holly-A Pretty Evergreen with Delicate Red Berries

American Holly Opaca

American Holly Ilex Opaca 4-5 foot Balled and Burlapped is a native plant of North America. This is beautiful evergreen tree with a symmetrical dense and wide pyramidal form, which will make any yard or plot of land look good. The leaves are dark green and prickly, along with bright red berries are a traditional sign of Christmas. This tree grows up to three to four feet per year under intensive culture, and up to 15 to 30 ft under sandy coastal forests. It is generally available in many areas within its hardiness range; you may also find it in any nursery.

Plant American Holly Ilex Opaca on fertile, highly organic, well-drained but moist and slightly acid soil, having pH value below 6.5.,These trees are often deep rooted, have waxy or thick leaves that conserve water, or leaf structure that minimizes transpiration. It will tolerate wet feet, but well-drained soil is best. One of the great things about this tree is using it for xeriphytic landscaping purpose.

Dioeciousness, the feature of this tree, means male and female flowers do not grow on the same plant. Both the male and the female flowers look similar, with four to six petals. The ratio of male to female flower growth is 1.03 to 1.00, but this happens after 9 years of the life of the tree. The flowers start blooming on any American Holly Opaca when it reaches the age of 3 years. This rapid generation of flowers continues until it reaches the age of 9 years.

April is the month when flowering begins in the American Holly Opaca trees that grow in the southern areas. In northern regions, the flowering period starts in the month of June. This dioecious tree disperses its pollens with the help of insects like yellow jackets, night fly moths, wasps, ants and bees. Staminate is the name of the male flower and the female is called the pistillate. Plant the male flower bearing plants near the plants that bear fruits or berries. Unlike other berries, berries of American Holly Opaca have four seeds,.which start to ripe in the month of September and continue till December. The tree has a cover of these red berries all through the winter, but the birds eat some berries. The fruit is fat and juicy. The size of the fruit varies from 6 to 12 mm in diameter. If the fruit stays on the tree for a longer duration, the color may change from red to orange or yellow.

The seeds of the fruit have a ridged surface and feel rough, with structures like lines on them. The seeds normally take up to 3 years to germinate, but in the winter season the speed of germination increases. One should sow the seeds immediately after receiving, though the germination would start after passing through two or three spring seasons.

The seeds of American Holly Opaca cannot bear heavy rains, the rains reduces the speed of the dispersal of seeds. If the weather gets too cold, it can lead to the death of the flowers and any fruit crop. This tree needs care and protection against the harsh weather conditions.

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