Ilex vomitoria, commonly known as yaupon or yaupon holly, is a species of holly that is native to southeastern North America.
The word yaupon was derived from its Catawban name, yopún, which is a diminutive form of the word yop, meaning "tree". The Latin name "vomitoria" comes from an incorrect belief by Europeans that the plant caused vomiting in certain ceremonies.
The plant was traditionally used by Native Americans to make an infusion containing caffeine. It and another plant in the Rubiaceae family, Galium aparine, are the only known plants indigenous to North America that produce caffeine. The plant is also widely used for landscaping in its native range.
You can buy the tea and the plants from Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co. in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA: https://www.yauponbrothers.com
Yaupon Brothers offer an Yaupon cultivar called "Schilling's Dwarf." Living up to its name, it grows to 4 feet tall, and 4 feet wide. Trimmings can be used to to make your own yaupon tea. All Schillings Yaupon trees offered by Yaupon Brothers are male, meaning that they do not develop berries. They do have cheery flowers in the spring which attract a wide range of pollinators.
These little Yaupon trees will thrive anywhere in the southeast USA. They are hardy to USDA zone 7, and tolerate temperatures down to 10 F for short time periods.
Schilling's dwarf holly grows in sun or light shade in soils from dry to wet, withstands drought when established and is highly salt-tolerant, making it suited to seaside plantings. Schilling's dwarf is a selection of the native yaupon holly, which grows naturally without irrigation on the dunes along the Atlantic Ocean. Growth rate is slow to moderate. Plant 4-5 feet apart for mass planting. Be sure to set plants several feet back from a walk, driveway or lawn area, because plants grow wider than tall and often require pruning to control their lateral growth. Be sure to leave the bottom of the plant much wider than the top so that lower foliage is left on the plant. If you attempt to shear vertically, the lower branches will be shaded and often lose foliage. This will give the shrub an unsightly, dark, leafless bottom.
Schilling's dwarf trees are shipped from Plant Click, from Raleigh, NC.
They have an active YouTube channel:
From Rob Greenfield: