Holly Plant


Holly plant (Ilex genus):  An evergreen shrub, which is popular as a garden plant and for decorating at Christmas time. Leaves are leathery, glossy and often have spiny edges.

Is it toxic? The berries can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea when ingested.

Health Effects:
Skin: The spiny edges of leaves may poke the skin.
Ingestion: Ingestion of 1 or 2 berries usually does not result in symptoms. Larger amounts may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

What to do:
Skin: Wash skin with soap and water and rinse thoroughly. If skin is punctured keep area clean and dry and ensure that your tetanus immunization is up to date.
Ingestion: Rinse out mouth and drink a glass of water or milk. If vomiting and diarrhea occurs ensure a good fluid intake to prevent dehydration.

Do not induce vomiting. If symptoms persist after the above first aid measures contact the Poison Control Centre.

How can I prevent exposure? Keep out of reach of small children and pets.

Need more information: Call the Poison Control Centre.


© 2010 BC Drug and Poison Information Centre