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Hybrid Winterberry Holly Ilex 'Carolina Cardinal'

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Carolina Cardinal is a hybrid of Winterberry (Ilex  verticillata) and the  Finetooth Holly (Ilex serrata) developed at JC Raulston Arboretum. Carolina Cardinal is a compact deciduous shrub in the holly family with beautiful dark brown bark and masses of crimson berries that last well into the winter clustered along the branches. Low-growing and full, it can accent winter landscapes with a vivid burst of showy red fruits that provide a food source for birds in fall and winter months. 

The Carolina Cardinal holly is a hardy, vigorous shrub with a low spreading habit that does well in full sun or partial shade and typically grows to about 4 feet high, but can be left to grow taller. New growth will start off purple but mature to green. It grows well in full sun or partial shade, but full sun will encourage fruit on the female plants. Carolina Cardinal tolerates poor soil and prefers moist, acidic conditions. Plant in in shrub borders, in groups or in a winter interest garden.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

A hardy plant with few disease or insect issues. However, high PH soils can cause chlorosis and leaf spot and powdery mildew can be a problem, although rarely disfiguring.

More information on Ilex hybrids.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#low maintenance#winter interest#food source wildlife#red fruits#food source winter#food source fall#compact habit#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#low maintenance#winter interest#food source wildlife#red fruits#food source winter#food source fall#compact habit#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    verticillata x serrata
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North Carolina
    Distribution:
    Eastern and south central United States
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds are attracted to plentiful red fruits.
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Human ingestion of berries can cause minor toxic reaction.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Description:
    Glossy, bright red drupe that lasts from fall through winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small white flowers in late spring, male flowers in clusters and female flowers solitary or in 2's and 3's.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Light green, simple, elliptical leaves 1 1/2 to 3 inches long and 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch wide.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Smooth woody stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Minor toxicity. Ingestion may cause vomiting, diarrhea, or other illness.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits