Ilex mucronata is a deciduous shrub growing to 3 m (rarely 4 m) tall. The leaves are 1.5-7 cm long and 1-3 cm broad, with an entire or finely serrated margin and an acute apex, and a 0.5–2 cm petiole. The flowers are inconspicuous, whitish to greenish-yellow, produced on slender peduncles 25 mm or more long; it is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. The fruit is a red drupe 6–7 mm diameter containing three to five pits.
The name "mountain holly" is also sometimes used for the related mountain winterberry (Ilex montana).
For an image of Ilex mucronata flowers (male), see: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ILMU
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Ilex mucronata
- Powell, M., Savolainen, V., Cuénod, P., Manen, J. F., & Andrews, S. (2000). The mountain holly (Nemopanthus mucronatus: Aquifoliaceae) revisited with molecular data. Kew Bulletin 55: 341-347.
- Gottlieb, A. M., Giberti, G. C., & Poggio, L. (2005). Molecular analyses of the genus Ilex (Aquifoliaceae) in southern South America, evidence from AFLP and ITS sequence data. Amer. J. Bot. 92: 352-369. Available online.
- Northern Ontario Plant Database: Ilex mucronata.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Nemopanthus mucronatus.
- Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission: Supplement to key to common wetland shrubs of Wisconsin (pdf file).
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