The bright red persistent fruits of common winterberry glow in the winter landscape. This deciduous species of holly, native to the eastern US and Canada, is a dense multi-branched shrub. The summer foliage is glossy dark green turning yellow in fall. An excellent choice for wet sites, naturalized areas, or in the shrub border. Both male and female plants are needed for fruit.
This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
- Family (English) Holly
- Family (botanic) Aquifoliaceae
- Tree or plant type Shrub
- Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
- Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
- Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil, Wet soil
- Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional flooding, Road salt, Wet sites
- Season of interest early winter, midwinter, early fall, mid fall, late fall
- Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
- Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Round, Thicket-forming, Upright
- Growth rate Moderate, Slow