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Ilex coriacea

large gallberry add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Trees, Shrub-like Trees, Evergreens

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: high

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, average, poor, loam, sand

Height: 10'-20'

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, berries, bog plant, evergreen, fall interest, pond margin plant, shade garden plant, showy fruit, stream margin plant, wetland plant

Flowers of Ilex coriacea (large gallberry)
  • Flowers of Ilex coriacea (large gallberry)
  • Ilex coriacea (large gallberry)
  • Flowers of Ilex coriacea (large gallberry)
  • Ilex coriacea (large gallberry)

Pricing & Availability


Ilex coriacea

Also known as:

large gallberry


Sweet gallberry


Ink-berry holly

Scientific Synonyms:


This evergreen shrub can grow to tree-size: up to 20 feet. The bark of Ilex coriacea is smooth with small projections.The open crown is made up of slender twigs with oval, dark-green, leathery leaves. Inconspicuous white flowers are followed by shiny, black fruit in late summer or fall. This species is a good understory plant.


Native to the southeastern coastline of the U.S., from Virginia down to Texas. Large gallberry prefers moist to wet, but not water-logged, acidic soil in filtered light. It will tolerate full sun if kept consistently moist. It is most suitable for sandy woods, stream banks and open bogs. Both male and female plants are needed to produce berries. Blooms March - May. Zones 7-9


Propagate from semi-hardwood cuttings taken from mature plants. May be propagate by seed. This is best done with fresh seeds that have been stripped of their pulp. Germination is slow and can take up to 18 months.

Additional Notes

Large gallberry is an important nectar source for southern beekeepers.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:


Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Celastrales
Family Aquifoliaceae Holly family
Genus Ilex holly
Species Ilex coriacea large gallberry