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Friday, December 08, 2006

Holly And Health: Superstition And Science

It is December once again and time to bring in the holly. Did you know there are more than 150 species of holly? Most of the commercial holly in North America is produced here in British Columbia, and in Washington and Oregon states. Most Saskatchewanians are decorating their mantels with holly from Vancouver Island. The two most common varieties grown are English holly (Ilex aquifolium) and American holly (Ilex opaca).

English has the darker, less spiky leaves. In fact, Ilex opaca is so spiky, "spine spot" often plagues commercial growers. These are spots caused when the spines of neighbouring leaves puncture other leaves during winds and storms.

More than any other festive greenery, holly is connected to all sorts of lore and superstition. Full Story

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