Ilex glabra 'Densa'

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Rain GardenPart ShadeBird Friendly
Ilex glabra 'Densa'

This fine selection of our native inkberry has a broad upright habit and holds its foliage at the base of the plant. This compact holly tolerates heat, drought, sun, shade and transplanting and grows exceptionally well in urban areas. A Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant Award Winner, it is pest and disease resistant. Flowers give way to jet black inkberries which mature in early fall and persist through the winter to early spring unless consumed by local birds.

Excellent evergreen native shrub, very cold hardy
Outstanding year round cover for wildlife
Great nectar source for small pollinators
Birds eat the small black berries that hold on well into winter
Tolerates heavy pruning and a variety of growing conditions

Native Range

Wooded swamps, low woods, and thickets; mostly along the coast from Nova Scotia to Florida to eastern Texas.

Interesting Facts

Because inkberry is found growing naturally in dune thickets, it is the most cold resistant evergreen holly and will hold up in windy conditions. If it does happen to drop its leaves during a severe winter, it will put out new growth in spring.


Easy to grow in average, medium wet to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Adapts to both light and heavy soils but prefers rich, constantly moist, acidic soils in full sun. Good shade tolerance, however prune to shape in early spring just before new growth begins. May be sheared regularly to form a lower growing hedge. Plant in masses to assure good berry set.

Mature Size: 3-4ft. Wide x 4-5ft. Tall

Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Sun Exposure: Part Shade

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