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In my years as a horticulture student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, the orange-fruited pyracantha on campus were most impressive. Years later, I fell in love with the red-fruited cultivar Victory, which is from a different species, Pyracantha koidzumii, and is a common cultivar used in the southeast. This species comes from Taiwan.

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Mention "mayhaw" to gardeners outside the Deep South, and they likely will respond with a blank stare. But mention mayhaw to sons and daughters of Dixie, and they likely will respond with a knowing smile and lots of lip-smacking.

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Our custom of using holly at the yule time reportedly originates from its use in the Roman Saturnalia celebrations in December during the winter solstice, with gift-giving and work-free holidays. And some say it may have influenced our celebrations of Christmas and the new year.

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