Notice: Atrium is currently undergoing maintenance. During this time, some or all images may not be displayed.

Aquifoliaceae

Ilex vomitoria Sol. in Aiton

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Species Parent: Ilex Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • YAUPON - English, United States of America
  • YAUPON HOLLY - English, United States of America
  • CASSINE - English, United States of America
  • CASSENA - English, United States of America
  • CASSIO-BERRY BUSH - English, United States of America
  • CHOCOLATE DEL INDIO - Spanish, Mexico
  • EMETIC HOLLY - English, United States of America
  • EVERGREEN CASSENA - English, United States of America
  • EVERGREEN HOLLY - English, United States of America
  • INDIAN BLACKDRINK - English, United States of America
  • SOUTH-SEA-TEA - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Petioles 1-3 mm long, leaf blades to 55 mm long and 28 mm wide; fruits bright red, to ca. 6.5 mm in diam.

Larger leaf blades on flowering branches oblong-lanceolate or oblong-elliptic, abruptly narrowed or rounded-truncate basally, glabrous beneath; leaves evergreen.

Other

Ecology: This species is toxic in nature.

Notes: Commonly cultivated, low woods, sandy areas; Fannin Co. (Talbot property) in Red River drainage and Limestone Co., also Lamar Co. (Carr 1994), also naturalized in Dallas and Tarrant cos. (R. O’Kennon, pers. obs.); mainly se, e, and sc Texas. Mid- late Apr. This species is one of the most widely used evergreen landscape shrubs in nc TX. The leaves contain caffeine and were used by Native Americans to make a ceremonial drink (known as “black drink”); during religious festivals they drank large amounts of a strong preparation which caused vomiting—thus the specific epithet (Havard 1896; Alston & Schultes 1951; Correll & Johnston 1970; Cox & Leslie 1991). The authority for this species is often given as Aiton (Kartesz 1994; Jones et al. 1997). However, Hatch et al. (1990) gave Solander in Aiton. Stafleu and Cowen (1976) indicated the botanical descriptions in Hortus Kewensis were not made by the Aitons but instead by Solander, Dryander, and Robert Brown based on material from Kew (Stafleu & Cowen 1976). On this basis, authorities for a number of taxa may have to be reexamined. Fruits poisonous (Lampe & McCann 1985). (vomitoria: emetic)