The white, radially symmetrical male flowers are small and are arranged in small clusters, rounded, at the leaf axils. Female flowers are similar in appearance but are arranged singularly along the length of the branches. The blooms have a green, spherical center, surrounded by white stamens, a shallow, fused corolla that opens into approximately four rounded petal lobes, and delicate green sepals.
The berry-like fruit is round and bright red. Berries are arranged singularly along the length of the stem.
The glossy green, leathery leaves measure approximately 5 cm. in length and are elliptical with pointed tips, pronounced, ridged midveins, and characteristically-toothed margins. Leaves are arranged in an alternate fashion.
American holly grows best in a wide variety of soils excluding wetlands and extremely dry mediums.
American holly is an evergreen whose bright, showy berries and characteristic leaves make it a popular component of ornamental winter displays.
American holly berries are a popular food source for birds.
Other names attributed to American holly include white holly and Christmas holly.
American holly is the only member of the Holly family that can attain tree size.