The Beautiful Possum Haw, Ilex decidua.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

This beautiful shrub or small tree brightens the winter months here in Texas until the birds descend upon it in big flocks and devour all those berries.
http://wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ILDE

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

I love Possum Haw Hollies. I have a small back yard, but still found room to plant 2 of these and several Yaupons. This is a shrub that needs almost zero attention and thrives in our climate of extremes. All of mine are full of berries and the resident Mockingbird is wearing himself out defending everything.

Carla

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes that is right, those mockingbirds are very possessive, but when hundreds of birds come they just can't keep up.
It is really cute to see them try.
Josephine.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I love them! I'd like to have one in my yard, but not sure where I'd put it right now. I love all the various berries trees & bushes put on for their winter color.

Red Oak, TX

This is one of those plants that I keep meaning to add to my yard but never seem to think about when I have access to the shrubs. I'm seeing them along the roadsides now and am "fired up" to get one or two. Anyone have a source in the DFW area that has them?

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
www.dallasbutterflies.com

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

I don't have any, wish I did, but Redenta's usually has them although they are a little pricey, I need to try and propagate some.

Red Oak, TX

Thanks, Josephine. Yeah, I've thought about stopping and collecting some berries and propagating some but I'm impatient and want the "instant gratification" a fair size plant. One of its various wildlife benefits is that it's a host plant for the PawPaw Sphinx.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
www.dallasbutterflies.com

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

I got one last spring at the RU at Rouxcrew's. Caryana brought it to me from the Lady Bird Johnson Center. The birds have almost cleared mine of berries but it is only 4' tall so that was not too hard to do. I tried rooting some cuttings the year before and they put out leaves and looked good. then I took the plastic bags off that had been keeping the humidity up and the cuttings all died. I'll have to try again. I also tried some seed, stratified an.d not stratified. So far, no success but I still have some seed. I think I would have had about twenty cuttings if I had not killed them. I was planning to offer them at the RU in Hempsteadd and at Sybrams. It was disappointing but I love the challenge of rooting things and growing from seed. It's like reading a good story with suspense. I'll keep trying. I took those cuttings from the side of the road in winter and they leafed out really well so that may be a good time to take cuttings.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

I know that it is difficult to propagate, I have tried with no luck also, it is better to do cuttings because from seed you don't know if you will get a male or a female, the female is the one with the fruit, so it is best to take cuttings from a female shrub.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Now is time to start cuttings-they do better if planted in ground and left alone- but stick the cutting deep into its place. We look to be having an early spring again again- Feb wont be too early for natives this year...

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, I decided to plant some cuttings of Possum Haw today, but I didn't want to put them in the ground because the squirrels are such a problem.
So I took some cuttings about six inches long and put them in a quart pot, then I covered them with a two litter bottle with the bottom cut out, this makes a perfect fit and should protect them from the squirrels as well as from the cold and I can water them when needed.

There are six of them in the pot, we shall see what happens, I will keep you all informed.
Josephine.

Red Oak, TX

Josephine - thanks for posting this. I think I'm going to try it myself. There's a clump of these growing along the side of a back road near here that are full of fruit right now. I'll try the seed method and the cutting method. Thanks for the inspiration.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
www.dallasbutterflies.com

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

You are welcome Dale, I hope it works great for you.

Red Oak, TX

Josephine -- I made three cuttings of Possum Haw on January 19th. Snipped about 18 inches off and stuck each in a one gallon pot with a mix of compost and potting soil. Checked today and all three have rooted very well. I was surprised that they rooted so quickly from hard wood (being in the heated greenhouse probably helped). Needless to say, I'm pretty happy!

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
www.dallasbutterflies.com

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Mine are not in a greenhouse, they are on the patio, they are starting to bud out some leaves, I pulled one out to check, but there are no roots, not even a callus yet, so maybe the heat made a great difference, I don't know, we shall see what happens with mine.

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