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Winter Red Winterberry Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red'

Phonetic Spelling
EE-leks ver-tik-il-LAY-tah
Description

'Winter Red' or winterberry is a cultivar deciduous shrub in the Aquifoliaceae (holly) family that grows 6-8 feet tall and wide and is a heavy berry producer when a male plant is nearby. A good male plant to pair it with is 'Southern Gentleman' This suckering shrub has a rounded form and provides year-round interest. It is especially attractive in winter as the leaves will drop leaving bright red berries which can persist through winter. 

'Winter Red' prefers moist to wet organic-rich acidic soil in sun to part shade but is adaptable to to clay soil types. It will tolerate being planted in low areas, along streams and ponds. It can also be used as a hedge, in a rain garden or as a specimen.

Prune this shrub in early spring to the desired shape before new growth appears.

Insects, Diseases, or 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.  It may abort fruit set in dry soil.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

More information on Ilex verticillata.

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Tags:
#deciduous shrub#winter interest#showy fruits#ponds#red fruits#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#partial shade tolerant#sun#streams#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous shrub#winter interest#showy fruits#ponds#red fruits#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#partial shade tolerant#sun#streams#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    verticillata
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds will eat the fruits
    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
    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)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil 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 Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Berries turn bright red in fall and persist throughout winter
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Small insignificant flowers appear in June-July in the axils of branches on new growth
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green leaves are elliptical to lanceolate with toothed margins and pointed tips. They are 2-3 inches long and 1-2 inches wide.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    Dark brown/gray to black bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Grey to blackish with knobby lenticel bark, grey to grey-brown buds.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Pollution
    Wet Soil