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Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

One of the prettiest woody plants found in the garden

winterberry-one of the prettiest woody plants found in the garden.

Winterberry is a member of the very large genus or grouping of plants known as Ilex verticillata, the winterberry is a cousin of the traditional evergreen varieties of hollies. The difference is in the fact that it loses its leaves each fall. The result is a breathtaking colorful display of festive red berries.

The winterberry holly thrives in swampy, wet conditions and is native of North America. They are very eye catching and stand out with their brilliant-colored berries. The plants form upright, clump-like shrubs that average 6 to 10 feet in height with a similar spread.

Winterberry over the years, have been bred and cultivated into forms of hybridized landscape plants. Some of my favorite cultivars include the showy sparkleberry, winter red, winter gold and Christmas gem.

Winterberries prefer to be located in full- to part-sun settings that offer a highly moist, organic soil with a slightly acidic pH. When planting varieties of holly there are both separate male and female plants. The showy clusters of berries are formed on the female varieties of the plant. It is essential to have a male form of the plant nearby to act as a pollinator or the colorful berries will not be set and formed.
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