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]


An Ollivander-made holly wand

According to Garrick Ollivander: "Holly is one of the rarer kinds of wand woods; traditionally considered protective, it works most happily for those who may need help overcoming a tendency to anger and impetuosity. At the same time, holly wands often choose owners who are engaged in some dangerous and often spiritual quest.[1]

Holly is one of those woods that varies most dramatically in performance depending on the wand core, and it is a notoriously difficult wood to team with phoenix feather, as the wood’s volatility conflicts 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 holds that those with a wand made of holly are incompatible with those with a wand made of oak and should not marry.[4]

Holly wand owners

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


Notes and references

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