Ilex Vomitoria (Yaupon Holly) is a native tree to Flagler county which produces inconspicuous white flowers in spring and scarlet red berries in fall. Many birds rely on the berries as a vital source of food and the flowers can attract bees for over several weeks. This drought tolerant evergreen grows in sun or shade up to 15-25ft tall. Yaupon Holly is great for being used in landscape as a topiary, screen or barrier.
Interestingly, Yaupon Holly (a relative of Ilex paraguariensis, Yerba mate) was used ceremonially by Native Americans as a caffeinated purgative tea—
They used the leaves and stems to brew a tea, commonly thought to be called asi or black drink for male-only purification and unity rituals. The ceremony included vomiting, and Europeans incorrectly believed that it was Ilex vomitoria that caused it (hence the Latin name). The active ingredients, like those of the related yerba mate and guayusa, are actually caffeineand theobromine, and the vomiting either was learned or resulted from the great quantities in which they drank the beverage coupled with fasting. Others believe the Europeans improperly assumed the black drink to be the tea made from Ilex vomitoriawhen it was likely an entirely different drink made from various roots and herbs and did have emetic properties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilex_vomitoria
You can purchase one of these great trees and many other wonderful native plants at Nature Scapes Gardens today. Tell em Flagler Surf sent you:)