Ilex verticillata, Winterberry


Winterberry is a multi-talented shrub that comes in many forms and colors. My favorites are those closest to the natural–a cheery, bright red that livens up the winter landscape. But if you hunger for them, there are deep oranges and canary yellows available as well.

ilex verticillata 2

Many talents because in addition to its obvious penchant for adding some intense color to the winter landscape, it looks great in the summer, responds well to pruning, and can be used as either a shrub or a small tree, depending on the kind you select.


The straight species will grow 6-12 feet high.


Not fussy about soil, but rather fond of moisture, Winterberry only balks when put in very dry situations. It’s preferred pH of 4.5-6.5 is a wide enough range to satisfy most Maryland yards, although here in Frederick county we do have some higher pH areas, so it might be good to check your soil before planting Winterberry (or any of the other more acid-loving plants).