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Native Plant Trust: Go Botany Discover thousands of New England plants

Family: Aquifoliaceae — holly family

Plants in the holly family are woody shrubs or trees with alternate, often toothed or spiny leaves. The small flowers may grow alone or in branched arrays. The flowers are actinomorphic (radially symmetrical) and may be 4- to 8-parted The sepals are small and fused at the base, surrounding petals that are usually also fused at the base. Sepals and petals attach below the ovary (i.e., the ovary is superior). The flowers may have pollen-bearing, ovule-bearing, or both types of parts present. There are usually 4 or 5 stamens, growing from the fused base of the petals. The single style is very short. The fruit is small and fleshy, containing 4 to 7 small, hard seeds.

This family’s genera in New England

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key