The holly has always been an important tree, even before it was adopted by Christians as a symbol of Christmas.
Male and female flowers are generally found on separate plants; only the female produces berries.
Hollies were believed to ward of evil and deflect destructive energies. The wood of a holly is white and sometimes flecked with green, it is used for carvings, inlay work and bowls.
Again the tree has medicinal value, this time to sufferers of rheumatism. The berries are poisonous and the effect can be very severe if not fatal.