Holly (Ilex opaca)
Holly is prized for its pale white colour and almost complete lack of grain pattern. There are often knots present which reduces the usable size of boards. If not dried quickly enough after felling, a bluish grey fungal stain will develop.
The grain is interlocked which can make hand planning difficult but it can be worked with a finely tuned card scraper with ease. Be careful sanding Holly when there are dissimilar woods next to it because the sanding dust created can stain the white of the Holly.
Often used as an accent wood in stringing, banding, and inlays. The small size of the tree and knots make it difficult to make larger projects.
Holly is best used in small pieces or thin slices due to the large shrinkage rate and seasonal movement. There is nothing more striking than Holly and Ebony featured together on inlays.