Ilex verticillata - Winterberry
Ilex verticillata - Winterberry
Ilex verticillata - Winterberry
Ilex verticillata - Winterberry
Ilex verticillata - Winterberry

Ilex verticillata - Winterberry

Regular price

Full SunPart ShadeButterfly FriendlyDeer ResistantRain GardenFall Color
Ilex verticillata

Winterberry is a slow-growing, deciduous holly with an upright-rounded habit. It can sucker to form large thickets but may be pruned to form a small tree. White flowers appear in late spring and give way to bright red berries. Berries are showy and persist through the winter (hence the common name).


  • Year-round interest; showy red berries in winter
  • Nectar is especially attractive to native bees
  • Gorgeous in winter floral arrangements
  • Bluebirds and robins savor the bright red berries
  • Good nesting site for a variety of birds

Native Range

Wet woods, swamps, and thickets; Newfoundland and Quebec through Ontario to Michigan and Minnesota south to Indiana, Missouri, and Florida.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)


Holly plants are dioecious, meaning that some plants are female and others male and you’ll need both to produce the beautiful, large, red berries. One male plant can pollinate many female plants.



Grows best in moist, acidic soil, although adaptable to both light and heavy soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates poorly drained soil such as boggy or swampy conditions. Prune to shape in early spring just before new growth begins.

Mature Size: 8-10' T x 8-10' W

Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

    American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose

    Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:

    • Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
    • Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
    • Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
    • Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
    • Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
    • Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
    • Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted

    Our Plant Tags Hold the Secrets to Success

    Choosing the right plants for your garden can seem like a daunting task but we’re here to help. Our horticulturists have spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing our beautiful, American Beauties plant tags to help you be successful. First of all, when you see an American Beauties branded pot at your garden center you can be confident that the plant is native to your area and a responsible choice. 

    When you look at our tag you’ll find information about the plants natural habitat. That will give you a clue to how it will work in your backyard. For instance if the plant is naturally founded and moist, shade and you have full sun, it’s not the plant for you. The “Features” section gives you an overview or plant description so you’ll know what to expect. While the “Benefits” section talks about the plants strong suits and how the plant will benefit wildlife. 

    A Special Note About Exposure

    Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
    Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
    Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.


    Best Plants for Bees - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Butterflies - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Birds - Double sided printout for download

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