Mountain-holly Nemopanthus mucronatus
Family: Aquifoliaceae (Holly)
Branching: Alternate

Mountain-holly is a tall shrub (usually the height of a person) that is typically found in wet woods, often in conjunction with Speckled Alder and the closely related Winterberry.  Its buds are uniquely shaped, like small pyramids pointing up from purplish twigs.  There is a single raised vein scar inside the leaf scar.  Small spur branches are often found on the main trunk.  Probably it's most distinctive feature as a glance is the purple colour of the twigs.  As always, this is variable, but it's fairly consistent.

Winter twig and end bud of Mountain-holly

Lateral bud and leaf scar (one raised vein scar within)

Another view of the lateral bud and leaf scar

Another view of the winter twig of Mountain-holly

Mature bark of Mountain-holly

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copyright 2008 Josh Sayers
please email me with any questions, comments, or errors