Ilex verticillata ‘Southern Gentleman’ #3 (Male Winterberry Holly)August 25, 2020
Iris versicolor #1 (Blue Flag Iris)August 25, 2020
Ilex verticillata #3 (Winterberry Holly Male)
-Part Sun, Full Sun
-Wet to Moist Soil (FACW)
-6-10′ Tall by 6-10′ Wide
-Upright, Clumping Shrub
-White Flowers in Late Spring-Summer
-Red Berries Fall through Winter (females)
17 in stock
(This listing is for MALE Winterberry Hollies, required for fruit production on female plants)
Winterberry Holly is a deciduous, upright, clumping shrub native to swampy areas of eastern North America. It prefers moist, acidic soil in partial to full sun which will produce the best flowering and fruit set. This plant is dioecious, meaning that male and female reproductive organs are on separate individuals. Both sexes are necessary for fruit production, but one male will suffice for up to six females if they are planted within reasonable flying distance (~50ft) for the bees that cross-pollinate them. They are reasonably adaptable to cultivation and will perform well in most soils that receive adequate moisture, although chlorosis can be an issue in high pH soils. They are a good choice for low or poorly drained areas of the landscape and for naturalizing along damp woodland borders, pond margins and shrub borders. The deciduous nature of this species allows the ruby-red berries to shine throughout the winter, adding an unbeatable ornamental effect to any landscape.
The berry-like fruits (drupes) are a very important winter food source for migrating and overwintering birds, with at least 20 species* depending on them for sustenance. Winterberry Hollies attract Northern Mockingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, American Robins, Northern Cardinals, Gray Catbirds, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Flickers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Eastern Phoebes, several Thrushes, Bobwhite Quail, Wild Turkeys and more, so be sure to watch for the many winter visitors! These shrubs are a feast for our eyes and for some of our most beloved winged creatures. They are also host to 39 species* of Lepidoptera including the intricately patterned Harris’ Three-Spot moth and the dainty Henry’s Elfin butterfly.
*Holly berries are TOXIC to humans.
Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines by William Cullina
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants by Michael A. Dirr
*Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees by Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz
Missouri Botanical Garden
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Male Flower: Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Leaves: SB Johnny, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons