Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata)
No-one seems to be making any claims for either flavour or nutritional benefits on these berries, so we are not suggesting you can feed your family. But before you dismiss this plant as just another useless ornamental, take a look at it's attributes:
1. It is a great foraging plant for birds and other wildlife.
2. Some parts of the plant (leaves, bark) are valued for medicinal properties.
3. It is one of very few landscaping plants that will thrive in poorly drained sites, even in standing water.
And, yes, it is a very attractive shrub. Especially in the bleak season of bare trees and short days. The brilliant, glossy red berries against a backdrop of snow can really generate cheer all winter long. Winterberry is also known as 'Black Alder', 'Swamp Holly' or 'Fever Bush'. Troublefree and adaptable with no serious pest or disease problems. You will need to plant a male bush for female plants to bear fruit.
Photo courtesy of Spring Meadow Nursery
Winterberry Holly: JIM DANDY 12-18" (Male)
Upright growing branches with lustrous, deep green foliage are often used for decorative displays as the leaves retain their fresh colour long after being cut. This dense, compact shrub will not produce berries, but is needed as a pollenizer. One male is sufficient for up to 6 female shrubs, providing they are planted within 9m (30') of Jim Dandy.
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