Dwarf Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’): The Compact Beauty with Vibrant Berries

Dwarf Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’): The Compact Beauty with Vibrant Berries

Dwarf Yaupon Holly, a compact version of the larger Yaupon Holly, is celebrated for its dense, mounded form and vibrant red berries. This evergreen shrub, native to the southeastern United States, is both drought-tolerant and adaptable, making it a favorite for various landscapes. Let’s delve into the world of Dwarf Yaupon Holly.

Origins and History:

Originating from the southeastern regions of the U.S., Dwarf Yaupon Holly has been a staple in native and ornamental gardens. Its resilience and adaptability have made it a popular choice for both urban and natural settings.


  • Appearance: Features small, oval-shaped, dark green leaves and clusters of bright red berries in the fall and winter.
  • Texture: The leaves are smooth with a slightly glossy finish.
  • Height & Spread: Grows between 3 to 5 feet in height and width, forming a dense, rounded shape.


While ‘Nana’ is the most popular dwarf variety, other cultivars of Yaupon Holly offer different aesthetics:

  • Pride of Houston: Known for its abundant berry production.
  • Will Fleming: A columnar variety with a unique vertical growth habit.

Planting and Care:

  • Soil: Adaptable to a range of soil types but prefers well-draining soil.
  • Sunlight: Thrives in full sun to partial shade.
  • Watering: Drought-tolerant once established but benefits from regular watering during its early years.
  • Mulching: A layer of mulch helps retain soil moisture and prevents weed growth.

Design and Styling:

Dwarf Yaupon Holly’s compact form makes it suitable for various garden styles:

  • Formal Gardens: Ideal for creating low hedges, borders, and parterres.
  • Rock Gardens: Its drought tolerance makes it a good fit for xeriscaping.
  • Cottage Gardens: Adds structure amidst free-flowing plantings.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Q: Are the berries of Dwarf Yaupon Holly edible?
  • A: The berries are not for human consumption and can induce vomiting if ingested.
  • Q: How can I ensure vibrant berry production?
  • A: Planting both male and female plants will ensure cross-pollination and abundant berry production.
  • Q: Is Dwarf Yaupon Holly deer-resistant?
  • A: While it’s less favored by deer, no plant is entirely deer-proof.


Dwarf Yaupon Holly, with its compact form and vibrant berries, offers a blend of beauty and resilience. Whether you’re designing a formal garden or a natural landscape, this evergreen shrub is a valuable addition.

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