Sunday, December 20, 2009

Native Plant of the Month: Winterberry

winterberry picture on 2 green acres, a Maryland garden blog

When most plants have hunkered down to wait out winter, winterberry (ilex verticillata) continues to put on a show. Unlike most hollies, winterberry is decidious. When it loses its leaves in later winter, all that remains are its beautiful red berries.

In addition to being a cheerful bright spot in the winter landscape, these berries serve as a great source of food for song birds in the winter months.

Winterberry at 2 Green Acres, Maryland garden blog

If you are interested in adding a winterberry to your garden, be sure to buy at least two - a male and a female. You only need one male plant for many females, but it should be within 50 feet of the females to ensure good berry production.

winterberry at 2 Green Acres, Maryland garden blog

This holly is native to the eastern half of the U.S., prefers moist, acidic soil, and grows in sun to partial shade. Winterberry bushes can get up to 10 feet tall and wide, but there are a number of varietals in all sizes. For more information on this great plant for winter interest, check out this website.

You might also like:

November native plant of the month: Doll's Eyes
October native plant of the month: Sugar Maple
September native plant of the month: Blueberry
August native plant of the month: Joe Pye Weed

Photo credit: Muffet

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