Botanical Name: Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red'
Common Name: Winterberry
Origin: E. North America
Location: CNW, CSW
Notable Feature: Noted for its magnificent display of bright red berries in winter, especially showy after a snowfall.
Habit: A small, oval- to broad-rounded, multistemmed, deciduous shrub with dense, fine, twiggy branches. Slow-growing, reaching 9 feet high by 8 feet wide. Tends to sucker forming new, multistemmed clumps.
Flower: The species is dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants. ‘Winter Red’ is a female clone. The white flowers are ornamentally insignificant, blooming in late spring. Male flowers occur in clusters of 6 or more in the leaf axils and females are borne in fewer numbers, usually singly or in threes on short stems.
Fruit: Bright red, berry-like, rounded drupes are borne in profusion and ripen in October, persisting into the following spring unless consumed by wildlife. The intensely red berries are 5/8” in diameter.
Foliage: Alternate, simple leaves, 1 ½ to 3 inch long, are dark green in summer with no significant fall color.
Interesting Fact: ‘Winter Red’ is a female clone which needs a male pollinator to produce the attractive red berries which are the signature of the winterberries. Generally one male winterberry plant (such as I. verticillata ‘Southern Gentleman’) will be sufficient for pollinating 9 to 10 ‘Winter Red’ plants. Received the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal in 1995.