winterberry holly Aquifoliaceae Ilex
verticillata (L.) A. Gray symbol: ILVE
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, margin sharply toothed, lance to egg-shaped (variable), glabrous and green above, paler and generally hairy below, 2 to 3 inches long.
Flower: Species is dioecious; both male and females are stalked and greenish-white with 5-7 petals, usually in clusters, appear in spring.
Fruit: Round drupes, 1/4 inch in diameter, reddish-orange to red in clusters of 2 to 4, ripening in fall but persisting through the winter, seeds smooth and smaller (1/8 inch long) than Ilex decidua or I. montana.
Twig: Slender, gray, with scattered light lenticels, buds and leaf scars are small, one vascular bundle scar, tiny, black thorn-like stipules may be present on either side of the leaf scar.
Bark: Thin, smooth and grayish brown.
Form: Upright shrub with multiple stems, reaches heights of 10 to 15 feet.
Looks like: sarvis holly - deciduous holly - mountain holly - sweet cherry
Additional Range Information: Ilex verticillata is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting winterberry holly.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson