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.
Found in bogs and wet woods of coastal plains.
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.