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Utilization of the Hollies (Ilex L. spp.): A Review

by 1,2,*, 3 and 1,2
Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, China
Center of Conservation Biology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, China
Jiangsu Key Laboratory for the Research and Utilization of Plant Resources, Institute of Botany, Jiangsu Province and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210014, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2022, 13(1), 94;
Received: 22 November 2021 / Revised: 31 December 2021 / Accepted: 6 January 2022 / Published: 10 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics and Molecular Biology)
The hollies (Ilex L., Aquifoliaceae) form a large (>669 spp.) genus of forest trees and shrubs, which is almost cosmopolitan in mesic environments but most diverse in subtropical China and montane South America. Throughout the range of the genus, Ilex species have been utilized as beverages, medicines, ornamentals, honey plants, timber, and for various other minor uses. Recent studies on the genomics, evolution, and biogeography of Ilex now make it possible to take a systematic approach to understanding and expanding the economic importance of the genus, but information on existing uses is scattered among numerous published and unpublished sources. We therefore review the existing literature on utilization of Ilex species, supplementing this with information from the grey literature and product websites. We show that, despite the number and diversity of known uses, most Ilex species are not known to be utilized at present, suggesting considerable unrealized potential. We highlight gaps in our knowledge and opportunities for expanded usage. Finally, we discuss how the availability of a new phylogeny and whole genome can assist screening of additional wild species for economic potential and facilitate breeding programs for species already under cultivation. View Full-Text
Keywords: guayusa; horticulture; kudingcha; traditional medicine; yaupon; yerba maté guayusa; horticulture; kudingcha; traditional medicine; yaupon; yerba maté
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yao, X.; Zhang, F.; Corlett, R.T. Utilization of the Hollies (Ilex L. spp.): A Review. Forests 2022, 13, 94.

AMA Style

Yao X, Zhang F, Corlett RT. Utilization of the Hollies (Ilex L. spp.): A Review. Forests. 2022; 13(1):94.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yao, Xin, Fan Zhang, and Richard T. Corlett. 2022. "Utilization of the Hollies (Ilex L. spp.): A Review" Forests 13, no. 1: 94.

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