Ilex glabra

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Deer ResistantRain GardenPart Shade
Ilex glabra

Inkberry has a rounded upright habit with evergreen foliage and is part of the holly family. It is adaptable to both sun and shade and will even tolerate wet situations. Small, greenish-white flowers bloom in May and June attracting honeybees. Bees feeding on inkberry produce a highly flavorful amber-colored honey. A variety of birds dine on the berries in autumn. This is a useful native species and a good substitute for Japanese holly (Ilex crenata), which is much less cold tolerant. May also be used in place of boxwood. Great planted en masse, also for foundation plantings, hedges and moist woodland gardens.

  • A great food source for a variety of birds
  • Honeybees love the nectar and produce amber-colored honey
  • Attractive evergreen foliage, respond well to pruning
  • Much more cold hardy than Japanese Holly
  • Great alternative to modern boxwood hybrids
  • Noted for its ability to perform well in wet sites.

Native Range

Found in bogs and wet woods of coastal plains.

Interesting Facts


Inkberry honey is a highly-rated and is produced in parts of the Southeastern U. S. Beekeepers release bees from late April to early June to coincide with inkberry flowering time.




Prefers average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Female plants need a male pollinator in order to produce the berries. Requires little pruning unless used as a hedge. 


Mature Size: 5-8ft. Tall x 5-8ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Sun Exposure: Part Shade

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