What is it?
First Aid
Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
Holly (Ilex aquifolium) by Liz West

What is holly?

Holly is a decorative plant with stiff green leaves and hard, bright red berries. It is often displayed around Christmas. Holly berries are harmful to eat.

What happens if someone eats part of a holly plant?

If a someone eats a few holly berries or leaves, they may feel sick to their stomach, throw up or have diarrhea. If they ate more than a few berries they may become drowsy and dehydrated.

Eating a holly leaf will most likely not cause any symptoms.

What should I do if someone has swallowed part of a holly plant?

If someone has eaten a holly berry:

  • Take all the pieces out of their mouth.
  • Give them a few sips of water or milk.
  • Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.

How can I prevent holly plant poisonings?

To prevent holly poisoning, keep the plants up high, out of the reach of children and animals. See our plants page for more tips on dealing with potentially poisonous plants.

Last Updated: Tuesday May 10th 2016