Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' with green leaves and red berries.
Close-up of Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' berries.

Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' (Winterberry) Unity Grown

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Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' is an excellent, showy cultivar of winterberry holly with outstanding berries. Without the sharp-spined leaves of species like American holly and deciduous leaves unlike any evergreen holly varieties, 'Winter Red' is best noted for its attractive, glossy red berries in the fall and winter. From spring into the summer, winterberry holly produces inconspicuous white flowers that attract many kinds of pollinators.

As an all-female cultivar, 'Winter Red' must be matched with a late-season male pollinator cultivar like Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman' to produce berries by planting one male per 5 females. Following successful pollination, this cultivar produces attractive, glossy berries that persist through the fall and winter, supporting bird populations and serving as an incredible addition to cold-season cut arrangements.

Typically reaching six to eight feet tall with a similar spread, Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' has an upright growth habit with a vase-like or globular shape. Overall a very versatile plant, 'Winter Red' is resistant to salt, wet soil, and deer damage, and can be used in rain, pollinator, and children's gardens as well as naturalized areas or woodland/wetland borders. 'Winter Red' winterberry is an attractive addition to any landscape with its appealing golden-orange berries, and has the ecological appeal to match.

Native to Eastern Shore, Native to Maryland, and Native to U.S.
Mature Plant Height: Very Tall: 73" and up
Deciduous
Sun (6+ hours) and Part Shade/Sun (4-6 hours of sun)
Soil Moisture: Medium to Wet
Soil Type: Wide Tolerance and Acidic
Bloom Time: Spring and Summer
Flower Color: White
Foliage color: Green
Features: Attracts Birds, Attracts Butterflies, Host Plant for Butterflies or Moths, Attracts Pollinators, Berries, Erosion Control, and Winter Interest
Tolerances: Clay Soil Tolerant, Wet Soil Tolerant, Deer Tolerant, and Salt Tolerant
Garden Type: Pollinator Garden, Rain Garden, Woodland Garden, Wetland Restoration, and Border/Screen

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