Ilex x rutzan. Red Beauty Holly.
This particular tree has actually been designed through selective breeding. Just one of the ways humans are pollinators too.
I personally didn't know anything other than "that's a holly" when I initially spotted it at the nursery and those bright green leaves shining through the dullness of February got me.
My favourite fact about holly plants is their relation to my favourite animal, the bat.
Ever hear of a spell using bat's wings? Well, it's not (usually, I suppose) referring to the leathery flappers of our favourite night time pollinators, it's the folk name for holly leaves. Once you know this, you can never unsee the bat signal on them.
It was Roman tradition during Saturnalia to gift holly to friends and decorate with it which, despite attempts by Christians to outlaw this pagan tradition, is something people still do during Christmas.
In the neo-pagan Celtic tree calendar, holly (tinne) is from 8 July to 4 August. Which is interesting given the Holly King's reign over the dark half of the year and Celtic tradition originating in the northern hemisphere. They're evergreen, so they'll stay beautiful year-round.
The red berries which are so symbolic of the tree are poisonous, but birds adore them. It is they who propagate the trees most commonly. Speaking of propagation, this is an incredibly slow grower. Just the germination of a seed can take years.
Magickally speaking, look at those leaf spines. Like the thorns of a rose bush, they are for protection. Holly water can be sprinkled on or around you for protection. This is also the tree of lughnasadh or the first harvest festival. It is transitional and can help a person deal with the transitions of life e.g. birth, death, and rebirth.
So much to unpack and so little space, I think I'll make a blog post about it this week!
#holly #ilex #hollybush #greenwitch #greenwitchcraft #witchcraft #pagansofinstagram #pagancommunity #pagan #witchesofinstagram #herbalism #greenwitchgarden #witchythings #witchythings ✨🔮 #🌱 #witchesofinstagram 🔮🌙 #gardening #🌿🌿🌿 #ведьма #folklore #batwings #folkmagick #magick - 10 hours ago