Ilex aquifolium

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaAquifoliaceaeIlexIlex aquifolium


An evergreen shrub of deciduous woodlands, especially those on acidic soils in which Fagus and Quercus predominate; often a frequent or locally dominant undershrub but rarely dominating the canopy. Its susceptibility to browsing can limit regeneration. It is also found in wood-pasture, scrub and hedgerows, and on ledges of acidic cliffs, and is often planted in amenity areas and parkland. 0?600 m (Eel Crags, Cumberland).



World Distribution

Suboceanic Southern-temperate element.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.7

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1079

Life form information

Height (cm): 1500

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Mega-, meso- and microphanerophyte



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2353

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 861

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: -0.16

Weighted Changed Factor: 14

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.