Holly is the December birth month flower that is often associated with the holiday season, but there is so much more to this evergreen shrub than just its festive appearance.
It represents Hope, Good Wishes and Respect.
Here are 10 interesting facts about holly that you may not have known:
Holly is an ancient plant, with fossil records showing that it has been around for over 66 million years.
There are over 400 different species of holly, with variations in size, shape, and colour of the leaves and berries.
Holly is dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants.
Only the female plants produce the vibrant, iconic red berries.
The berries of the holly plant are toxic to humans and other mammals, but are an important food source for birds in the winter.
Holly has a long history of being used in traditional medicine.
It has been used to treat fever, coughs, and colds, as well as to relieve inflammation and arthritis.
In Celtic mythology, holly was seen as a symbol of protection and was often planted near homes to ward off evil spirits.
The wood of the holly plant is incredibly dense and hard, making it valuable for making fine furniture, walking sticks, and even inlays for musical instruments.
The name “holly” is believed to have originated from the Old English word “holen” which means “to prick” or “to pierce,” referring to the sharp spines on the leaves.
In Victorian times, holly was often used as a decoration to symbolize goodwill and cheer during the Christmas season.
In some cultures, holly is believed to bring good luck and protection, and it is often planted near homes for this reason.
There is so much more to holly than just its festive associations.
With its rich history, cultural significance, and unique features, holly is a truly fascinating plant that deserves recognition beyond its holiday decorations.