Latin: Ilex verticulata
Zones: 3 – 9
Other common names: common winterberry, black-alder, northern holly, swamp holly, michigan holly
Mature Height/spread: 3-12 ft.
Soil / Climate: Grows in wet areas near swamps, ponds, or wet woods. Prefers rich, acidic soils. Hardy. Can tolerate partial shade, but will produce more fruit if planted in full sun.
Notes: Our winterberry are grown from seed that has been collected from native plants. Long, oval, green leaves that turn brown to black in autumn. White flowers. Bright scarlet fruit grows in clusters and persists throughout winter. Prized ornamental often used for Christmas decorations. Only female produces fruit, and must have a male nearby for pollination. Male plants have flowers in clusters. Female plants have single flowers, or in groups of 2 or 3. Female plants have flowers with a distinct green miniature “knob” in the center (the immature ovule), while male flowers are loaded with yellow anthers (the pollen-bearing structures). Please note that the winterberry plants from Cold Stream Farm are grown from seed, and not graded by sex prior to shipment. The seedlings are of no particular strain or cultivar.
Wildlife: The fruit is eaten by the black duck, bobwhite, mockingbird, catbird, and many others.
Cold Stream Farm supplies Winterberry shrubs which are grown as bare root seedlings and transplants and sold both wholesale and retail with no minimum order.
Additional information on Ilex verticulata can be found on the link: USDA / NRCS PLANTS Database.