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Cheerful holly has long been used to dress our homes at Christmas. It’s shiny, evergreen, prickly leaves form a dense shelter for birds and a safe place for hedgehogs to hibernate through the winter and is easily identified all year round.
Holly is dioecious, meaning that male and female flowers occur on different trees. Once pollinated by insects, female flowers develop into the cheerful scarlet berries we know and love. Considered a fertility symbol and a charm against witches and goblins. It was thought to be unlucky to cut down a holly tree.