holly tree

The holly is an evergreen.

Trees of London

Russell Square


previous tree      next tree: holm oak

              There are two types of holly tree in Russell Square, the Wilson Holly and the common holly, which is a native tree. Here, the leaves of the common holly are crinkled, though this is not always the case. The leaves are of a leathery texture, and the tree is evergreen, that is the leaves don't fall off during the winter.

              As you wander round Russell Square, you will see many holly trees. The majority are Wilson hollies, but take a good look at both to familiarize yourself with them. As well as having leathery leaves, sometimes crinkled; sometimes not, the holly has a smooth bark and, in the autumn, striking red berries which usually survive, depending on how hungry birds are, until the end of December.

              It has often been noted that the holly cheers up the winter months, and perhaps for this reason it has become associated with Christmas. The religious significance of the holly predated Christianity as the holly was venerated by the druids and was first used as decoration, Christmas of otherwise, by the Romans.

Two holly trees at Lincoln's Inn fields.

Two holly trees

previous page      next tree: holm oak

Other Trees at Russell Square

yew      holm oak

cherry     Scots elm

Russell square

Tree Identification

Ilex aquifolium:

leaf: leathery; evergreen; oval shaped, sometimes with spiky edges. holly leaf
holly berries

nuts/fruit: berries which grow in clusters; green first, then red; stay well into the winter.

holly flowers

small green.

holly bark bark:
smooth, grey
grows to 10 metres; conical.
general: popular in stately homes, where the gardeners chop it into unusual shapes.

Russwll square map

First tree to the right of the
south-east entrance.
Marked yellow on map.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©