Scientific: Ilex vomitoria
Common: American holly, yaupon
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Origin: Native to alkaline soils in the southeastern Unites States west into Texas.

Pronounciation: EYE-lex vom-i-TOR-ee-a

Hardiness zones
3-9, 11-24
USDA 7 - 11

Landscape Use: Dwarf cultivars make wonderful small formal hedges or low mass plantings.

Form & Character: Woody, evergreen shrub or small tree, stiff, brittle; dwarf cultivars are dense prostrate, and formal in appearance.

Growth Habit: In the wilds of the southeastern United States, yaupon is a vigorously and stiffly upright shrub to small tree to 20 feet in height. In contrast, the landscape serviceable dwarf cultivars are naturally rounded, prostrate, dense, formal, ranging in heights from 1.5 to 5 feet tall with mostly a greater spread.

Foliage/Texture: Small, serrate to crenate, sessile, small gray green leaves on gray twiggy stems, turning slightly purple in coldest winter areas; fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Small white axillary flowers in spring followed by small round bright red fruit. Dwarf cultivars are prone to flower less than other yaupon.

Seasonal Color: White spring flowers, red fall to winter berries, less on dwarf cultivars.

Temperature: Tolerant

Light: Full sun

Soil: Does surprisingly well in alkaline soils.

Watering: Tolerates some drought

Pruning: Easily lightly sheared as a formal to informal hedge.

Propagation: Cutting

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Yaupon teas were used by native Americans to induce vomiting. Dwarf yaupon in the alkaline soils of Phoenix is best plant for low growing formal to informal hedges in formal or structured landscapes, even better than Japanese boxwood.

In short, dwarf cultivars of this plant deserve more attention in the Phoenix area to placate the widespread practice by 'horticultural clods' of shearing every landscape shrub that grows!! .......oh, but then what would they do?

Dwarf cultivars include:
'Nana' - dwarf to 3 to 5 feet height depending on watering
'Schillings' - intermediate dwarf to 3 feet height
'Stokes' - most dwarf to only 2 feet height