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Yaupon Holly, Full Of Fruit In The Fall

 We have three female Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria) trees in the Wildlife Habitat of the Raincatcher’s Garden.  The fruit ripens in the fall and will attract Northern Mockingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, and other fruit-eating birds.  The evergreen foliage provides good cover and sometimes nesting sites, for songbirds.  Although the the foliage will be more dense in full sun than in part-shade, this species is well adapted to both.  Pruning practices also affect the density of the cover it provides.

When buying yaupon trees, the easiest way to be sure you will get fruiting trees is to select them in the late summer or fall, when you should be able to see fruits on a female tree.  Because yaupons are dioecious, pollination by a male tree is required for the female tree to produce fruit, so you may want to plant a male (non-fruiting) tree among your females.  However, Dallas has many yaupons, and female trees often seem to be pollinated by males from other gardens.   Fortunately, fall is our best season for planting trees. 

'Pride of Houston' Yaupon Holly At The Demonstration Garden

The beautiful fruits are properly called drupes rather than berries, because there is a single seed in the center of the fruit, surrounded by an outer skin and a fleshy middle layer.

Deirdre

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