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Holly (genus Ilex) is a genus of four to six hundred species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family. The species are evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, and climbers found worldwide.[3]

The Holly plant is also associated with the holiday of Christmas. In December 1992 at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Great Hall was decorated with holly and mistletoe for Christmas.[2]

Wandlore

An Ollivander-made holly wand

According to Garrick Ollivander, holly was one of the rarer kinds of wand woods; traditionally considered protective, it worked most happily for those who might need help overcoming a tendency to anger and impetuosity. At the same time, holly wands often chose owners who were engaged in some dangerous and often spiritual quest.[1]

Holly was one of those woods that varied most dramatically in performance depending on the wand core, and it was a notoriously difficult wood to team with phoenix feather, as the wood's volatility conflicted strangely with the phoenix's detachment. In the unusual event of such a pairing finding its ideal match, however, nothing and nobody should stand in their way.[1]

Wizarding superstition held that those with a wand made of holly were incompatible with those with a wand made of oak and should not marry.[4]

Known users

Behind the scenes

  • According to Pottermore, "Holly is a traditional symbol of luck, prosperity and protection from evil. It's been used in celebration rituals throughout history including the Roman festival of Saturnalia, the Pagan Winter Solstice and, of course, Christmas."
    • According to J. K. Rowling, "European tradition has it that the holly tree (the name comes from 'holy') repels evil."[6]

See also

Appearances

Notes and references

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