Flower spotlight: holly
Holly is often associated with Christmas time due to its glossy green leaves and bright red berries — the perfect blend of Christmas colors. Native to the eastern and central parts of the United States, holly can be classified as a tree or a bush depending on its size.
There are hundreds of different types of holly that can be planted in home gardens or used for cut floral arrangements. Because the females are the berry producers and the males are the pollinators, they need to be planted within 30 to 40 feet of one another for the females to produce berries. The berries of some holly bushes are mildly toxic and should not be eaten, so be sure to keep any berries away from plants and children.
Holly has been used in a variety of ways for religious and cultural traditions throughout history. Druids used holly leaves and berries as part of their ceremonial head wear, while the Romans used holly as an offering to the god Saturn. Early Christians used holly on their doors as a means to prevent persecution. With its significant role in many different cultures, it’s no surprise that it became a plant commonly associated with the Christmas season.
Holly can accent your Christmas décor in a variety of ways with the green or green-and-white variegated leaves and bright red berries. A specific type of European holly is the variety most often found in Christmas decorations, including wreaths for both indoor and outdoor use.
Holly leaves are thick and hearty, so they preserve well. Even the fresh branches can last a long time when used as part of your holiday décor. If you have a holly tree in your yard, cut some fresh branches and lay them in a basket by the fireplace. Incorporate them in your mantle decorations, centerpieces, or in other various decorative places around the house.
Wherever you choose to incorporate holly this season, it’s sure to bring some extra Christmas cheer. Contact our team of talented floral designers to order a cut flower arrangement that incorporates cuttings of the beautiful and symbolic holly tree.