Bercht. & J.Presl 1825

pronounced: ack-wee-foe-lee-AY-see-eye

the holly family

Aquifoliaceae is derived from the Latin aquifolius, having pointed leaves. These are trees or shrubs, usually evergreen but sometimes deciduous, rarely prostrate subshrubs. There are small stipules present, often deciduous. The leaves are alternate, rarely sub-opposite, simple, usually glabrous, margins entire, crenate, serrate or spinescent. Inflorescences are axillary, flowers unisexual by abortion (the plants are dioecious), petals usually white or cream, stamens as many as the petals, reduced to staminodes in the female flowers, the ovary superior. The fruit is a drupe, with 1 – 6 pyrenes, with one seed each, the epicarp red, purple or virtually black, the mesocarp fleshy. The seeds have an oily, abundant endosperm.