print

Winterberry Holly Ilex Verticillata 'Winter Red'

Winterberry Holly - Ilex Verticillata 'Winter Red'
+More Photos

A cultivar of our native wetland holly, 'Winterberry Red' has abundant clusters of long lasting, bright red fruits and lustrous, thick, dark green leaves. The leaves fall off the shrub in autumn making the berry display all more showy in the winter landscape. It adapts to wide variety of site conditions. The compact, rounded or vase shaped form grows 6'-9' tall, 6'-8' spread. Plant about 4 feet apart for a hedge. 'Winter Red' is a female cultivar and requires a pollinator for fruit production. It is advisable to plant one male in close proximity (within 50 feet) for every 3-5 females. 'Southern Gentlemen' is the pollinator of choice for this southern type winterberry. 'Appolo' and 'Raritan Chief' are also male pollinators.

Pricing Information

Click icons for more information.

Show All | Hide All

Zones 3 - 9 Zones 3 - 9
Hardiness Zones 3 - 9
The Winterberry Holly can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Shrub Shrub
Type of tree
Shrubs
6' - 9' High 6' - 9' High
Mature Height
The Winterberry Holly grows to be 6' - 9' feet in height.
6' - 8' Spread 6' - 8' Spread
Mature Spread
The Winterberry Holly has a spread of about 6' - 8' at full maturity.
Slow Growth Slow Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a slow growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This Winterberry Holly does well in full sun, partial shade.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil

acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well drained, wet, wide range, clay

Rounded Shape Rounded Shape
Shape
This Winterberry Holly has rounded shape.
Attributes

'Winter Red' is a compact cultivar of our native wetland holly , the winterberry. It is known for its abundant fruits that keep their bright red color and remain on the branches into the middle of winter. The lustrous dark green leaves fall off the shrub in autumn making its berry display all the more showy in the winter landscape. It adapts to a wide range of site conditions including wet, light, and heavy soil, full sun or partial shade. It grows best in full sun, acidic, moist soil. Winterberry can be used for a showy accent shrub, planters, hedges, water edges, buffer or medium strips, and holiday decorations. Plant about 4 feet apart for a hedge. 'Winter Red' is a female cultivar and requires a pollinator for fruit production. It is advisable to plant one male in close proximity (within 50 feet) for every 3-5 females. ' Southern Gentlemen' is the pollinator of choice for this southern type winterberry.

Description

'Winter Red' is a deciduous, female winterberry cultivar. It is a slow growing, multi-stemmed, suckering shrub with an erect, compact, round or vase shaped form. The thick, lustrous, dark green leaves fall off the branches in the fall exposing the intense red clusters of berries. Fall leaves may turn a bronze color. With this cultivar the 3/8" size fruits are profuse and ripen in August to September. They will persist on the tree into mid-winter. The fruit is bitter and astringent, so overwintering birds will leave this fruit until other food supplies have dwindled before eating it. This is a shade tolerant plant, but grows best in full sun. It occurs naturally in swampy and poorly drained areas and adapts to a wide range of soil conditions including heavy and wet. However, it is not drought tolerant and alkaline soil will cause chlorosis. 'Winter Red' requires a late blooming pollinizer for fruit production. One male should be planted within 50 feet of every 3-5 females for a maximum fruit production. Pruning for shape should be in early spring just before the new growth appears. Winterberry cuttings are often used in holiday decorations. The cut stems will keep for months if kept in a vase without water.

Wildlife Value

The red berries stay on the shrub from early fall through winter. Over 40 species of birds are known to eat winterberry fruit. The dense branches provide shelter and nesting sites for birds.

History/Lore/Use

'Winter Red' winterberry holly was introduced by Simpson Nursery Company, Vincennes, IN. Winterberry is native to North America with a range from Nova Scotia to Ontario, west to Wisconsin, south to Florida and west to Missouri. 'Winter Red' is the most popular American selection for cutting.

Moisture

well drained, moist, wet soil

Leaves

Alternate, simple, elliptic (oval )or obovate to oblanceolate, serrate or double serrate, 1 ½"-3' long, lustrous dark green, may turn bronze in fall

Flower Color

female is inconspicuous, white

Bloom Time

late spring, early summer

Fruit Description

berry-like drupe, 3/8" across, bright red, often in pairs