Holly, European Holly


Hazard Information

Route: Ingestion     Plant Part: Berries

Scale: Low

High quantity required for severe symptoms, include vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pains.



Common Name(s)

Holly, European Holly

Latin Name

Ilex Aquifolium


Evergreen tree or shrub, there are several varieties some with variegated leaves. The leaves are glossy with sharp prickles at the edge of a wavy margin. Some leaves particularly on older trees may have smooth edges. Clusters of white flowers appear in spring followed by red berries in winter.


Used as Christmas decorations children could be in close contact with the red berries which are poisonous.


Although the berries are not very poisonous if a small amount are eaten, two can cause nausea and obviously the more that are consumed the worse the symptoms, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pains.

Flowering Period

Flowers appear in spring followed by berries which turn bright red in winter.


Woods, hedgerows, parks and gardens etc.