slow-growing deciduous holly is native to eastern North America.
The multi-stemmed, rounded clumps can often become quite dense with
twigs. There is some tendency for this shrub to sucker.
green leaves cover this shrub and will remain green until leaf-drop
in the fall.
male and female flowers are formed on separate plants, and only
the females will produce the attractive red berries in the fall.
Depending on demand from birds, the berries can last into January.
6-15 feet tall and equally wide.
to swampy areas and therefore suitable for wet areas in the landscape.
Prefers acidic soils with good organic matter content and may develop
chlorosis in too high pH. Will tolerate partial shade, but the fruit
set is best in full sun. I. verticillata is the hardiest
of the deciduous hollies--to zone 3.
No serious pest problems. May exhibit some leaf
spots or powdery mildew but
not enough to require treatment. Slow-growing.
Females are great for mass effect in winter, but males must also
be planted to obtain fruit set. Males and females are both good
for shrub borders and wet areas.
cultivars are extensive, and only a few are named here. Many of
the introductions come from Martha's Vineyard or Simpson Nursery.
'Red Sprite' / 'Nana' / 'Compacta' - compact, 3-5 feet, larger fruit
Red'- has all of the above qualities in a stronger version
'Winter Gold'- lighter green leaves, pinkish orange fruit, only
hardy to zone 4
yellow, less abundant fruits, less interest from birds, earlier
leaf-drop, found in the wild in MA
Ilex verticillata x flex serrate hybrids- including the male
'Apollo' and the female 'Sparkleberry'
Softwood cuttings root readily in six to eight weeks. Take cuttings
in June or July, use IBA quick dip and put under mist. Seed propagation,
even stratified, is difficult and shows a low germination rate.
Best transplanted as ball and burlap material. The growth rate in
young plants can sometimes be increased with fertilizer and water
from a number of Rhode Island nurseries and garden centers.