Dahoon Holly - Ilex cassine
February, 2012, Banks of the Alexander Springs Run, Ocala National Forest, Florida
Dahoon Holly, Ilex cassine
Dahoon Holly leaves, mixture of males and females, large and small leaves, were roasted in a 16" wok over oak and pine coals until browned and dried - scorched leaves were discarded. Dahoon Holly leaves are waxier and more fibrous than Yapon Holly leaves. Makes a much lighter yellow-colored tea-decoction than Yapon Holly's dark reddish browns. First time I brewed Dahoon Holly, I made it very strong trying to match the color of Yapon tea-decoction, it was quite a bit too strong and left a scratchy feeling in the back of my throat (this was Dahoon from Jekyll, a nursery source). The abundant wild Dahoon on the Alexander Spring's waters were not selected for bountiful showy berries in gardens. More males were observed than females, and most females had only a few berries. The Dahoon Holly tea-decoction from Alexander Spring's Dahoon is reminiscent of Yerba Mate and Green Tea, presents a clear light yellow-brown color, initial bitter tasting brew, has pleasant middle-notes and flavorful finish, and is astringent on the gums. The best looking leaves were new growth in the full sun over the water. Most of the older leaves in the shade had some form of smut of black mildew. The oldest leaves had more pronounced thorns.
Diversity of Methylxanthine Content in Ilex cassine L. and Ilex vomitoria Ait.:
Assessing Sources of the North American Stimulant Cassina
Adam L. Edwards and Bradley C. Bennett
Center for Ethnobiology and Natural Products,
Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami
Economic Botany 59(3):275-285. 2005
abstract, references, figures, and tables - not full text
includes a table of historical european names for Yaupon and Dahoon
Dahoon (Ilex cassine L.) has more theobromine and less caffeine than Yaupon.