Zones: 3 to 9
Light: Full sun to part shade
Bloom Time: Late spring
Height: 4′ to 15′ (depending on the variety)
Spread: 4′ to 15′
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is an upright deciduous native shrub that is a member of the holly family.
In the wild, it grows up to 15 feet tall and can be found along river banks.
Which means that it tolerates poor drainage better than most plants. But it also grows quite well in dry soil.
As its name suggests, this plant’s claim to fame is the bright red berries that remain on the branches throughout the winter (even after the leaves have fallen).
It has inconspicuous white flowers in the spring but it is mostly grown for the berries, which are also attract birds.
Like other hollies, there is a male and female version of this plant.
Only the female plant produces berries, but you need both in order for that to happen. If you are planting a lot of these shrubs (they do make a good hedge), you only need one male plant to pollinate many females.
Winterberry prefers acidic soil and the leaves will start to turn yellow if the soil is too alkaline.