There are two varieties of this tree, the American and the European holly.

The American holly is found from Maine to Texas, and from Montana on the north to New Mexico on the south; it grows to the height of from sixty to seventy feet, but in the New England States it is only a straggling shrub. It thrives best in deep, rich loam; it will grow in dry, sandy soil, but not in cold, wet lands, or stiff clay.

The wood of the holly is very ornamental—white, hard, and fine grained—and is esteemed for turning and fancy-work, where that of the box or any other tree of the same character can be used.

It is nowhere abundant, and is of very slow growth, but wherever it can be suitably grown it merits more attention than has yet been bestowed on it. It makes a very useful and ornamental tree.