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A Holly Without Thorns

In sandy woodlands growing in moist soils along the periphery of bogs and wetlands is a evergreen shrub in the holly family that has no thorns. It is Inkberry holly. It lives in eastern North America from Nova Scotia south to Florida where it is often found in dense colonies. Its shiny dark green leaves helps to identify it along with its green berries that turn black in the late fall.

It has become a favorite shrub for gardens because it provides color for a dull winter landscape. Beware, the berries are poisonous to people. Some wildlife and birds eat the berries in the winter when food is scarce. This shrub also provides cover for small birds in the winter woods.

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