I just heard about the yaupon holly, and would like to plant some. Where can I plant them to get my caffeine fix?

2 Answers 2


The Ilex vomitoria is known as the Yaupon holly is native to North America from New York State to Florida and west to Texas. It was introduced to cultivation in 1700 and has many cultivars: dwarf, weeping, yellow berries.

It normally grows in USDA zones 7 to 10 up to 20' (~6M) tall and can be used for screens, hedges, specimens and mass plantings. The key attraction is the bright scarlet berries produced in quantity.

This plant is found in the wild in wet swampy areas but can adapt to a wide variety of soils and conditions.

The vomitoria in the latin name is a misnomer as it does not contain emetics. Europeans observed Indians preparing an infusion from the leaves to cleanse impurities in the body and soul.

Caffeine levels are similar to that of black tea and it is currently served in at least one restaurant.

Cultivation description quoted from this reference manual by Michael Dirr.


Zones 7b - 9, acidic soil, be sure to have both sexes.

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