Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail

The Meaning of Spines on Holly Leaves

Spines on holly leaves are a defensive tactic. The harder a plant is trying to defend itself, the more spines we find on its leaves. This is why we find more spines near the ground, where there are grazing animals, like deer, and fewer above head height.

It is also why hedges and other garden hollies have lots of spines – they are trying to defend themselves against the blades of the gardener.

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