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Aquifoliaceae A family of trees or shrubs that have leathery, alternate, evergreen, sometimes spiny, simple, exstipulate leaves. They are usually dioecious. The flowers, borne in small cymes, are regular, tetra- or pentamerous. The petals and stamens are usually free. The fruit is a small drupe with 3 or more stones. Ilex aquifolium (holly), native in western and central Europe, is much grown for its foliage and for the scarlet fruits of the female trees. There are 4 genera, with more than 420 species, found throughout the world, except in Arctic regions, but centred on the tropics.