Mountain holly

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated April 2019.

Scientific name: Ilex mucronata (L.) Powell, Savolainen & Andrews; old Nemopanthus mucronatus (L.) Loes.

Common name(s): mountain holly, catberry

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)



-fleshy fruit

-leaves are

  • simple
  • entire

– species is dioecious (flowers are male or female, on different plants)

– generally flowers late May to mid-June in ME

– host plant for the caterpillars of the Columbia silkmoth (Hyalophora columbia) found in Maine


– considered an obligate wetland species, so individuals in wild blueberry are likely in wet areas

-disturbed sites

-bogs and fens

-shores of rivers



Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.

Go Botany. “Ilex Mucronata (L.) M. Powell, Savol., & S. Andrews.” Ilex Mucronata (Mountain Holly): Go Botany, National Science Foundation, 2021,