Bitter Gallberry - Evergreen Winterberry - Inkberry
Ilex glabra - (Linnaeus) A. Gray
Aquifoliaceae (Holly) Family
Plant is an upright evergreen shrub, soft-woody with densely ascending branches from a rhizome, often forming dense and extensive thickets. Its preferred habitat is flatwood forest as an understory shrub, frequently burned areas. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
The leaves are alternately spiraling, evergreen and leathery, elliptic with a tapering base. The color is yellow-green above and pale green below, often with minute reddish glands. The leaf margins may have a few blunt teeth but are generally smooth.
The female flowers are mostly solitary (male flowers in clusters) in the leaf axil. The greenish-white petals number 5 to 8. Male and female flowers are on separate plants.
Fruit is a drupe, dull to lustrous, persistent into winter, containing 5 nutlets.