Monday, July 5, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - The Holly

he Celtic Tree month of Holly begins July 8th and continues through August 4th. As a small bush or shrub the Holly is a slow growing. Even in its full size it seldom gets above 50 feet in height. Its characteristic of being an evergreen lends it a deep rich green color with bright colored red berries. The berries while are quite favored by birds and animals are poisonous to humans.

The wood of the Holly is hard and close grained. When first cut the wood is slightly greenish in color yet will soon become perfectly white. Because the wood has the ability to be buffed to a high polish, it is often used as an imitation for ivory or stained and used as an imitation for ebony. It often is used in the making of fancy walking sticks.

The leaves of the Holly have leather like texture and are thick and glossy. They are also edged with prickles which alternately point upwards and downwards around the perimeter of each leaf. The leaves have no taste or odor and often stay attached to the trees for several years before falling off. Even when they finally fall to the ground, it takes a long time before they eventually decay.

The Holly bears its flowers which are pale pink on the outside and white on the inside, during the month of May. The female flowers have a liquid which is released which smells similar to honey. Bees and other insects are quite attracted to this smell and help to pollinate as needed. Later the flower will produce the red berries which the Holly is known for. In most cases if a Holly produces a good crop of berries one year, it will rest the next year before producing again.


jaz@octoberfarm said...

thanks so much for all of the holly info. i have tons of it around all of my houses and gardens and did not know about all of this! hope you had a great 4th!