Although the red berries are always eye-catching, the leaves of hollies are so very interesting and are often overlooked or oversimplified on Christmas cards.
The hard, smooth edges of the leathery thick leaves are interrupted by these crazy, thorny explosions. The leaves are shiny, but in a waxy sort of way that blurs and shifts the light. You can see how the rich dark green color of these indestructible evergreen leaves has made the holly a symbol of resilient endurance through the winter. With such fascinating and unusual leaves, it's no wonder ancient people assumed the holly had magical properties.