Ilex cassine

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Ilex cassine
Ilex cass.jpg
Photo by Shirley Denton (Copyrighted, use by photographer’s permission only), Nature Photography by Shirley Denton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Order: Celastrales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Species: I. cassine
Binomial name
Ilex cassine
Ilex cass dist.jpg
Natural range of Ilex cassine from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Dahoon

Taxonomic notes

Synonym: Ilex cassine var. cassine


“Trees or shrubs, usually with imperfect flowers. Leaves simple, entire, serrate, dentate or crenate; stipules obsolete. Flowers axillary, solitary, fascicled or in cymes, 4-7 merous, 4-8 mm broad; petals united at the base, imbricate in bud; pistillate flowers usually with nonfunctional stamens; anthers opening lengthwise; stigmas 4-7, essentially sessile. Drupe red, black or rarely yellow or white. Seeds with hard, bony endocarp (pyrenes), often grooved or ribbed on the back, 4-7 in a fruit, 1 in each locule.” [1]

"Large shrub or small tree, twigs minutely pubescent. Leaves coriaceous, lustrous above, pubescent beneath, at least on the midrib, evergreen, elliptic to obovate to oblanceolate or lanceolate, 2-10 cm long, 0.3-3 cm wide, remotely serrulate, serrate, or entire, often revolute. Pedicels usually densely canescent. Staminate flowers in short, axillary compound cymes, 4-merous. Pistillate flowers solitary or in 3-flowered, pedunculate cymes, in the leaf axils or from nodes just below the leaves; 4-merous. Drupe red, occasionally yellow or orange, lustrous, globose, 5-8 mm in diam.; pyrenes 4, irregularly grooved on the back, 4-5 mm long." [1]




I. cassine has been observed flowering in December.[2]


The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Ilex cassine at Archbold Biological Station: [3]

Apidae: Epeolus zonatus

Colletidae: Colletes brimleyi, Hylaeus confluens

Halictidae: Augochlora pura, Augochlorella aurata, A. gratiosa, Lasioglossum placidensis, Sphecodes heraclei

Leucospididae: Leucospis affinis, L. slossonae

Megachilidae: Coelioxys sayi, Heriades leavitti

Pompilidae: Anoplius marginalis, A. parsoni, Aplopus mellipes, Episyron conterminus posterus, Paracyphonyx funereus, Psorthaspis legata

Sphecidae: Cerceris flavofasciata floridensis, C. rufopicta, Crabro hilaris rufibasis, Ectemnius decemmaculatus tequesta, Epinysson basilaris, Gorytes dorothyae ruseolus, Isodontia auripes, I. mexicana, Liris muesebecki, Oxybelus decorosum, O. emarginatus, O. laetus fulvipes, Tachysphex similis, Xysma ceanothae

Vespidae: Mischocyttarus cubensis, Pachodynerus erynnis, P. nasidens, Parancistrocerus perennis anacardivora, P. salcularis rufulus, Polistes bahamensis, P. bellicosus, P. metricus, Stenodynerus lineatifrons, Vespula maculifrons, V. squamosa, Zethus slossonae, Z. spinipes

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 679-81. Print.
  2. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 12 DEC 2016
  3. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.