Marco Island

Marco Island

Posted by Marco Island Florist on December 12, 2019 Flower Gifts Flowers

All About Holly – December’s Birth Flower

Winter weather and the holidays are upon us. At Adrian Durban’s Florist, serving Cincinnati and the surrounding areas, our florists are busy thinking up new ways to use holly, December’s birth flower, in our seasonal floral designs.

What Is Holly?

Holly is shrub that has potential to grow into a tree, but most holly plants remain relatively close to the ground. They’re an evergreen plant, meaning their leaves stay green all year long. Holly plants bloom with white flowers that eventually give way to bright-red berries in the winter. Their red and green appearance makes them a popular choice for modern holiday decorating, but their history goes back much further than printed wrapping paper and holly jolly Santa Claus.

Holly Berries in Snow

Holly Berries in Snow

What Does Holly Symbolize?

Holly keeps its luster throughout winter, which makes it a popular adornment for Winter Solstice, Christmas, and other seasonal celebrations. Holly was considered the sacred plant of Saturn, the God of agriculture and time in Ancient Rome. It was a popular decoration during the festival of Saturnalia and often given as gifts in wreaths. Early Roman Christians were said to have put holly leaves on their doors in order to avoid persecution, but as Christianity slowly gained dominance, holly became associated with the celebration of Christ’s birth in December. European pagans also used holly in decoration and even put sprigs in their hair. They believed the green leaves and bright red berries kept the earth beautiful during a time when other plants went away.

Wreath of Holly

Wreath of Holly

Is Holly Poisonous?

The leaves and stems of holly are fine, but their red berries are highly toxic for people and pets. If you decorate with fresh holly during winter, be sure to keep it out of the reach of small children, cats, and dogs.

Our Favorite Ways to Decorate with Holly

Floral Arrangements


Of course, our favorite way to use holly is in seasonal floral arrangements. There’s no better way to add warmth and cheer to the holiday season than with floral arrangements featuring holly. We absolutely love to pair the vibrant green leaves and jolly red berries with arrangements of red and white roses, carnations, mums, and ranunculus. We add a dash of something that glitters like frost and another seasonal embellishment or two. Then display it all in a seasonal container or elegant vase.

Dining Room Centerpieces

If you love to create a centerpiece using evergreen boughs, you probably have used boughs from fir trees in the past. We suggest mixing it up with festive red-and-green boughs of holly. Surrounding a candle or two, holly will make your dining room table will glow with seasonal spirit.

Advent Wreaths

Given its history and symbolism in Christianity, holly is a great choice for an advent wreath.

Decorative Wreaths

One of the oldest traditions had people hanging holly from the front door for good luck. You can either enjoy a wreath that prominently features holly or add sprigs of green leaves and red berries to a wreath that features flowers, pinecones, or another type of evergreen bough.


Sprigs of holly are a great way to add an embellishment to a Christmas gift. Your package will look classy and festive at the same time. Just be sure not to leave any holly berries in low, easy-to-reach places in a home with pets or small children.

Seasonal Corsages and Boutonnieres

If you have an important event, party, or formal occasion to attend during December, holly is a great addition to a corsage or boutonniere. Pair it with a red tie or sparkling gown for a striking look.

Celebrate the Season with Festive Flowers

Whether you choose to deck your halls with boughs of holly or other beautiful winter flowers, our professional florists at Adrian Durban Florist can help you choose the best floral arrangements to celebrate the season. We have a variety of winter designs created especially for a warm, joyful season!