Holly is a plant that is native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree that typically grows to a height of 10-20 feet, with a dense, pyramidal crown. The leaves are glossy and dark green, with sharp spines on the margins. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, but the plant is well-known for its colorful, berry-like fruits, which are typically red but can also be yellow, orange, or black.
Holly prefers well-drained soil and partial shade, but it can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. It is winter-hardy and can withstand cold temperatures, but it may be damaged by severe frost. To cultivate holly successfully, a grower may need to provide regular watering, fertilization, and pruning to maintain its shape and health.
Holly is not edible for humans, but the fruits are an important food source for many birds and small mammals. The plant is also valued for its ornamental appeal and its ability to provide privacy and wind protection. Some gardeners and farmers use holly as a hedging plant or as part of a mixed border. In the past, the wood of holly was used to make walking sticks and other objects, and the leaves were used as a source of natural dye.