A native of the Southeastern United States, the Yaupon Holly is an easy to grow small tree and is one of only two species in North America that contain caffeine. An infusion can be made from its leaves to make a lightly caffeinated tea. Dry and toast the leaves, then steep in boiling water for tea. Its specific epithet, “vomitoria”, was so named due to high levels of the plant being ingested causing vomiting in some ceremonial uses of the plant. Evergreen and growing from 15 to 25 feet tall.
Latin Name: Ilex vomitoria
Site and Soil: Yaupon is tolerant of a wide range of soil and grows well in full sun to light shade.
Hardiness: Hardy to about 10° F.
Bearing Age: 1-2 years before significant harvest
Size at Maturity: 10 ft. by 25 ft. smaller with regular pruning.
Bloom Time: Spring
USDA Zone: 7-9
Sunset Western Zone: 4-9, 12, 14-24
Sunset Northeast Zone: 31, 32
Pests & Diseases: We have not observed pest or disease damage on Yaupon