Wilderness Survival QuizPlease Rate This Article This is a basic wilderness survival quiz. Lets say that you and some friends are out on a hiking or camping trip. While on this trip, one of the members of the group spots these pretty red berries. The question comes up if they are edible. So, are they […]
Some wild animals and birds eat the Yaupon Holly, but the berries cause vomiting in humans. The latin name is Ilex vomitoria. Anything that has “vomit” in the name should be avoided.
The Yaupon Holly an evergreen shrub or small tree reaching 15 – 30 feet tall, with smooth, light gray bark and slender, hairy shoots. The leaves are alternate, ovate to elliptical with a rounded apex and crenate or coarsely serrated margin, about 2 inches long and about 1 inch across, glossy dark green above, slightly paler below. The flowers are 1/4 inch in diameter, with a white four-lobed corolla.
The picture below is of a Yaupon Holly bush in East Texas. Notice the bright red berries.
During the late fall and into the winter, the Yaupon Holly will sprout a bright red berry. The fruit is a small round or red (occasionally yellow) drupe about 1/4 inch in diameter containing four seeds, which are dispersed by birds eating the fruit. The species may be distinguished from the similar Ilex cassine by its smaller leaves with a rounded, not acute apex.