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Ilex verticillata


Plant Type


Hardiness Zone

3 - 9

Flower Color


Bloom Period


Height at Maturity

3 - 15 feet

Width at Maturity

3 - 15 feet

Sun Requirements

Full to partial shade

Soil Type

Moist, well-drained, light to heavy acidic soil

About this species:

  This berry producing shrub is very attractive to birds and other wildlife.  The small white blossoms attract pollinators.  There are up to 49 known species of birds, including songbirds and waterfowl, that feed on its berries in late fall.  The shrub is a place for birds to find shelter.

Winterberry is a deciduous shrub rather than evergreen.  It should be kept pruned as it suckers profusely if not controlled.  It is possible for winterberry to live 100 years.  The winterberry is toxic to people, cats, dogs and horses.

The female plant produces bright red or gold berries during fall upon which birds and animals feed.  They prefer a quiet spot to dine which is why we see the berries on the roadside long into winter.  Winterberry is a slow growing shrub.  It may have leaf spots or powdery mildew.  


Key to Label Symbols:

Hollow stems, leaves and roots are sources of shelter for wildlife. Insects may make a winter home under dropped leaves. Other animals may make shelters within the roots of the plant.
Food Source
Birds and other wildlife use the seeds, berries and leaves for their food source. Leaves may be used to help build nests for birds
Nectar Source
Bees, butterflies, birds and some insects use nectar for their food. Pollen is also used by some wildlife.
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