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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria)

Yaupon is a small, evergreen tree that may grow 10 to 20 feet tall. The leaves are alternate with a dentate margin. The bark is thin, smooth, and light gray. As the tree ages, the bark might become a bit scaly. In spring, small, greenish white male flowers mature in clusters. Small, yellow-green, solitary female flowers mature at the same time. Female specimens produce dark red drupes that mature in late fall and early winter.


Used as winter cover. Host plant for Henry's Elfin butterfly. Butterflies nectar at blooms. Fruits are eaten by songbirds and small mammals.

Plant Type Tree 10-30 feet
Leaf Type Evergreen
Deer Resistance High
Regions Coastal Plain
Light Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade, Full Shade
Soil Wet, Moist, Dry
Bloom Times Early Spring, Spring
Seed Times Winter
Wildlife Value Winter Cover, Fleshy Fruit, Butterfly/Insect Nectar, Butterfly Larvae Host
NC Forest ServiceNC Cooperative Extension