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Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman' is often confused with:
Ilex verticillata ilex verticillata fruit and leaves
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold' Flowers
Native alternative(s) for Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman':
Ilex cassine Ilex cassine
Ilex verticillata ilex verticillata fruit and leaves
Ilex vomitoria Ilex vomitoria
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold' Flowers
Nerium oleander 'Hardy Pink' Flowers - Sept. 15 - Wake Co., NC
Ulmus alata Ulmus alata
Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman' has some common insect problems:
Holly Pest Management Calendar
Pests of Holly
Leafminers of Hollies

Winterberry Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman'

Previously known as:

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

Winterberry is a member of the Aquifoliaceae (holly ) family native to swampy areas of Eastern North America. The 'Southern Gentleman' cultivar is a perennial, woody, deciduous tree or shrub that may grow 6 to 8 feet high. 

Plant ‘Southern Gentleman’ in full sun to partial shade. It is adaptable to various soil types, including heavy clay, but it requires an acidic soil. Flowers will appear on new growth, thus if pruning is needed to shape the plant, do it in early spring just before new growth appears. Because 'Southern Gentleman' is a male plant, it produces no fruit.

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' cultivar is the late-blooming male pollenizer plant for other, late-blooming, female Ilex verticillata plants. You need a ratio of one male winterberry for every 6 to10 female plants. The late blooming female I. verticillata cultivars include ‘Cacapon’, ‘Shaver’, 'Sparkleberry’, ‘Sunset’, ‘Winter Gold’, and 'Winter Red'

Plant as a hedge, border tree, or foundation planting. As it prefers moist soil and can tolerate poorly drained soils, it can also be planted near a pond or in a rain garden. The foliage is a food source for wildlife. It is also a host plant for butterflies and attracts  specialized bees.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Deciduous shrubby holly no fruits
  • Leaves are serrated and veins are pubescent underneath.
  • Leaf veins are impressed. 

Insects, Diseases, Other Plant Problems:  The native holly leafminer, Japanese wax scale, and southern red mites are the most frequently reported pests of hollies in the southeastern United States. Leaf spots and powdery mildew occasionally occur. Neutral to alkaline soils may cause chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) and even death. 

The Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center has a factsheet on common diseases and insect pests.

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.

Profile Video:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#vigorous#small tree#rain garden#deciduous shrub#salt tolerant#low maintenance#mass planting#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#fire low flammability#deer browsing plant#deer resistant#foundation planting#deciduous tree#small group plantings#wet soils tolerant#pollinizer#rabbit browsing plant#fruitless#alkaline soils intolerant#hedge#wildlife friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#vigorous#small tree#rain garden#deciduous shrub#salt tolerant#low maintenance#mass planting#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#fire low flammability#deer browsing plant#deer resistant#foundation planting#deciduous tree#small group plantings#wet soils tolerant#pollinizer#rabbit browsing plant#fruitless#alkaline soils intolerant#hedge#wildlife friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    verticillata
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    hedges, rain garden
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    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:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    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, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • 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:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    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:
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small Tree
    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