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Winterberry Holly grows from 1 to 5 meters tall. It is one of a number of hollies that lose their leaves in the fall. In wet sites, it will spread to form a dense thicket, while in dry soil it remains a tight shrub. The leaves are glossy green, 3.5–9 cm long, 1.5–3.5 cm broad, with a serrated margin and an acute apex. The flowers are small, 5 mm diameter, with five to eight white petals. The fruit is a globose red drupe 6–8 mm, which often persists on the branches long into the winter, giving the plant its English name. Like most hollies, it is dioeciously with separate male and female plants; the proximity of at least one male plant is required to pollinize the females in order to bear fruit.
Ilex verticillata, the winterberry, is a species of holly native to eastern North America in the United States and southeast Canada from Newfound Land west to Ontario and Minnesota and south to Alabama. Other names that have been used include Black Alder Winterberry, Brook Alder, and Canada holly. Coralberry, Deciduous Holly, Deciduous Winterberry, False alder, Fever bush, Inkberry, Michigan Holly, Possumhaw, Swamp Holly, Virginian Winterberry, or Winterberry Holly.
History and Use: Native Americans used Winterberry Holly for medical purposes
Spotted on Jan 16, 2015
Submitted on Jan 30, 2015