Holly (ilex aquifolium)
With its red berries and elegant, pointed leaves, holly has become the Christmas plant par excellence, the favoured adornment and decoration for this time of year.
For the Celts holly brought good luck and prosperity, so they made use of it when the winter solstice came around. Druids regarded it as a sacred plant, as did the Romans, who associated it with the god Saturn. Its evergreen leaves are a reference to eternal life.
Today holly is a protected species and only commercially grown holly cultivated under certain conditions can be sold.