'Tis the season when one sees the American holly prominently featured in holiday decorations.

But the American holly, which is native to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is also a great year-round ornamental for one's landscape. This evergreen is relatively easy to care for and provides food and habitat for many animals.

How much do you know about this versatile shrub?

1. The American holly is the state tree for which Bay watershed state?

A. Delaware
B. Maryland
C. Pennsylvania
D. Virginia

2. The American holly is known for its bright red berries. What colors are its flowers, which bloom from May to June?

A. Pale blue
B. Pale orange
C. Pale pink to light mauve
D. White to cream

3. True or false? The American holly is a slow-growing tree.

4. True or false? Each American holly is either a male or a female plant.

5. What color is the wood of the American holly?

A. Black
B. Burgundy
C. White
D. Yellow

6. The American holly berry is eaten by:

A. Game birds
B. Mammals
C. Songbirds
D. All of the above

7. Holly leaves typically stay on a branch for two to three years until new buds push the old leaves off. In what season does this take place?

A. Winter
B. Spring
C. Summer
D. Fall

8. Which creature(s) pollinate(s) the American holly?

A. Ants
B. Bees & Wasps
C. Moths
D. All of the above

9. The American holly is a preferred nesting site for which bird?

A. Cardinal
B. Catbird
C. Mockingbird
D. All of the above

10. American hollies should not be overfertilized. An inch-deep mulch of which of these substances would be considered a great snack by a holly (although no more than twice a year)?

A. Cabbage Leaves
B. Coffee Grounds
C. Egg Shells
D. Shredded Newspapers


1. A
2. D
3. True
4. True
5. C
6. D
7. B
8. D
9. D
10. B