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Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman' is often confused with:
Ilex verticillata ilex verticillata fruit and leaves
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold' Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold' flowers
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold' Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold' flowers
Hydrangea arborescens Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Ilex verticillata ilex verticillata fruit and leaves
Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman' has some common insect problems:
Holly Pest Management Calendar
Pests of Holly

Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman'

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • 'Late Male'
Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks ver-ti-si-LAY-tuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Ilex verticillata, or Winterberry, is dioecious (meaning individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). The 'Southern Gentleman' I. verticillata cultivar, is the late blooming male pollinator plant for other, late blooming, female Ilex verticillata plants. You need a ratio of one male Winterberry for every 6 to10 female Winterberry plants. The late blooming female I. verticillata cultivars include ‘Cacapon’, ‘Shaver’, 'Sparkleberry’, ‘Sunset’, 'Winter Red', and ‘Winter Gold’. 

The 'Southern Gentleman' cultivar is a deciduous tree or shrub that may grow to 8 feet high, somewhat smaller than the 10 to 15 foot height of the Winterberry parent plant. The leaves are alternate with a sharply toothed margin and hairy underside. The bark is thin, smooth, and gray-brown. In spring, stalked, yellow-green flowers mature in clusters. Because 'Southern Gentleman' is a male plant, it produces no fruit.

Winterberry cultivars are highly adaptable to various soil types, including heavy clay, but prefer organically rich, moist loamy soils.  It needs an acidic soil or may suffer from chlorosis. Tolerates poorly drained soils including wet or swampy conditions (this species is native to swampy areas of Eastern North America). Flowers appear on new growth. Prune to shape in early spring just before new growth appears.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious problems.  Leaf spots and powdery mildew occasionally occur. Neutral to alkaline soils may cause chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) and even death. 

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Ilex verticillata.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#vigorous#rain garden#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#native shrub#salt tolerant#low maintenance#winter interest#fall interest#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#hedges#fire low flammability#wet soils tolerant#food source birds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#vigorous#rain garden#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#native shrub#salt tolerant#low maintenance#winter interest#fall interest#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#hedges#fire low flammability#wet soils tolerant#food source birds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    verticillata
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    hedges, rain garden
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    Native North Carolina
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The Winterberry is a host plant for Henry's Elfin butterfly and attracts other pollinators. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi. The foliage is food source for rabbits and deer.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    resistant to fire, damage by deer, heat, and drought.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Will not produce fruits as this is a male plant.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant greenish-white male flowers appear in clusters of 6 or more in leaf axils. Blooms April to June.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Doubly Serrate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green glossy leaves that have purple-bronze to yellow fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Grey to blackish with knobby lenticel bark, grey to grey-brown buds.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Stems are olive-brown to purplish-brown and are lenticelled.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Salt
    Wet Soil
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Minor toxicity. Ingestion may cause vomiting, diarrhea, or other illness in humans.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves