General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 6-9 feet high
Plant Spread: 6-9 feet wide
Leaves: Deciduous
Other: The foliage stays healthy all summer and isn't bothered by insects. The leaves drop off the plant in late fall to expose the beautiful berries. You'll need both male and female plants.
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Polinated by 'Southern Gentleman' 1-male for 6-females.
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Blooms on old wood
Blooms on new wood
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Will not come true from seed
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Other: Patented.
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Dioecious

Common names
  • Winterberry Holly
  • Winterberry
  • Black Alder

Photo Gallery
Location: duke gardens, durham, north carolina
Date: 2023-12-06
Location: Medina, TN
Date: 2015-12-22
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' on a foggy morning in December.
Location: Elberfeld, Indiana
Date: 11/15/14
Winter color is hard to come by, but winterberry really looks nic
Location: In my garden, Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens, South Amana, IA
Date: 2008-12-10
Location: Smithfield Gardens in Suffolk
Date: 2012-01-16
Very slow growing tree, this is eight years old.
Location: Elberfeld, Indiana
Date: 2012-09-23

Date: 2013-10-19
Location: Elberfeld, Indiana
Date: 2014-07-31
Location: Elberfeld, Indiana
Date: 7/31/14
Location: Elberfeld, Indiana
Date: 2014-07-31
The berries are forming along the woody stems in July, but will n
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2009-12-18
planted specimen in fruit
Location: Tyler Arboretum
photo by Derek Ramsey.
Location: near West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2014-01-17
a planted group
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2009-12-18
close-up of fruit
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-09-22
long, pointed leaves and fruit
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-09-22
most of the shrub in late summer
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2014-06-22
the pistillate (female) flowers
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-06-18
closer shot of female flowers in June
Location: Tennessee
photo courtesy of Sunlight Gardens,
Location: Smithfield, KY
Date: 2016-08-03
First year to have berries
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-11-17
my backyard shrub with fall color
  • Posted by blue23rose (southern Indiana - Zone 6b) on Aug 23, 2014 4:05 PM concerning plant:
    Definitely has winter interest with its red berries that last well over three months in my zone 6b garden, from November through February. It is a great plant for the birds to feed on during winter. The white blooms are very small and nothing special in early summer. Mine are doing well on the north side of the house, where they get a lot of afternoon shade. I have 'Southern Gentleman' on the west side of the house as a pollinator for 'Winter Red'.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 18, 2017 7:28 PM concerning plant:
    'Winter Red' is the most used of the several Winterberry cultivars offered. It is a full-sized cultivar like the mother species, but its fruit is very bright red, a little larger, and profusely borne. Its leaves are relatively large, long and sharp. "Southern gentleman' is the male cultivar most commonly used to pollinate this female cultivar.

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