Android app on Google Play Available on the App Store Invasive Species Council of British Columbia logo

Ask us

We'd love to hear from you. If you have any questions or concerns, let us know!

learn more

Donate Today

Your donations will help support healthy communities in BC! Join a growing community of supporters who care

learn more

Get Involved

Find out what you can do to make a measurable difference in your community

learn more

Become a Member

Enjoy the opportunity to network with others who take an active interest in invasive species management in BC. Join us today!

learn more

Commit to be PlantWise

Help to reducing the damage created by invasive species in British Columbia. Climb on board with the ISCBC and commit to becoming PlantWise!

learn more

English Holly

English holly was intentionally introduced to North America from Europe. It is a popular garden ornamental and grown commercially by holly farms to supply the Christmas trade, florists and decorators. English holly is a small to large (7-10 m tall), shade-tolerant, evergreen shrub/small tree bearing distinctive glossy, spiny, dark-green evergreen foliage and (on female trees) bright red berries. 

How does it spread?
English holly is spread by bird-dispersed seed and by the suckering and layering of roots. 

Where would I find it?
English holly prefers shade or sun, well-drained soils and thrives in mixed deciduous and coniferous forests, wetland edges, residential areas and disturbed lowland areas mostly throughout the Pacific Northwest and South Coast of BC.

What problems does it cause?
English holly grows rapidly, casting deep shade that deprives native plants of light, and holly roots effectively out-compete many natives for nutrients and water. English holly seed and roots can spread into undisturbed forests, establishing dense, prickly colonies, that not only negatively impact native species but also human recreational activities.

Additional Recommendations

  • Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) (z7) 
  • Burkwood Osmanthus (Osmanthus x burkwoodii) (z6) 

A provincial initiative coordinated by ISCBC


Gardeners: Commit to be PlantWise
Help Spread the Word: Become a PlantWise Ambassador
Industry: Become a PlantWise Industry Partner
Report Invasive Plants

Get Involved


Let Plantwise Industry Partners help you choose and purchase only non-invasive plants to suit your needs. Find one near you!

View Partners Become an Industry Partner