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

Winterberry Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold'

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 fruit (berries) are required). The 'Southern Gentleman' I. verticillata cultivar is the most common late blooming male pollinator plant for late blooming, female Ilex verticillata plants. 'Winter Gold' is a late blooming female I. verticillata cultivar that is compatible with 'Southern Gentleman'.  You need a ratio of one male Winterberry for every 6 to 10 female Winterberry plants. The other, late blooming female I. verticillata cultivars, include ‘Cacapon’, ‘Shaver’, 'Sparkleberry’, ‘Sunset’, and 'Winter Red'. 

'Winter Gold' is a deciduous shrub that provides year-round interest and makes an excellent hedge or addition to a rain garden. Its primary characteristic is the dense, heavy fruiting of orange-yellow berries that last throughout winter.  As noted above, it is a female plant and needs a male to produce its showy orange-yellow fruits. It prefers full sun with some afternoon shade and medium to wet soils. It needs an acidic soil or may suffer from chlorosis. Because it tolerates wet soils it does well in pond margins, stream beds, or low lying areas of the yard.  Mass plant or in small groups and place it in shrub borders or as foundation plants. Flowers appear on new growth. Prune to shape in early spring just before new growth appears.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious problems. Powdery mildew and leaf spots are occasional problems.   Plants will show a decline in alkaline soils.

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:
#deciduous#rain garden#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#low maintenance#winter interest#fall interest#mass planting#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#year-round interest#showy fruits#hedges#low lying area#stream banks#food source wildlife#ponds#foundation planting#orange fruits#small group plantings#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#shrub borders
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#rain garden#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#low maintenance#winter interest#fall interest#mass planting#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#year-round interest#showy fruits#hedges#low lying area#stream banks#food source wildlife#ponds#foundation planting#orange fruits#small group plantings#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#shrub borders
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    verticillata
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    North Carolina native
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The Winterberry is a host plant for Henry's Elfin butterfly and attracts other pollinators and birds. 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: 5 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 5 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    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)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    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 Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Orange-yellow 3/8 inch diameter fruits appear only if there is a male plant like 'Southern Gentleman' around to pollinate. They set in late summer but can persist into winter hence the common name. Fruits have a terminal black "dot" instead of a "fly" like the Rosaceae berries and are striking on naked branches.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny white flowers with a green/yellow center in leaf axils from May-June. Flowers, if properly pollinated, give way to a crop of bright red berries (1/4 inch diameter) in late summer to fall.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green leaves 2 to 3 inches long with obvious venation outline on top with a lighter green underside where the veins are obvious in a pale-green. Fall color is variable but sometimes attractive yellow-bronze.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light 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
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Erosion
    Fire
    Pollution
    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:
    Fruits