At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Aquifoliaceae
Latin Name: Ilex verticillata
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Foliage: Yellow-green
Bloom: Insignificant
Bloom Time: June to July
Shape: Rounded
Bark: Reddish-purple and turning light gray over time
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 3 to Zone 9
Size: 12 to 3 feet
Spread: 12 to 3 feet
Care: Medium to wet, well drained soil

Native to North America, the gorgeous Winterberry Holly can be discovered throughout the wetlands and grasslands of the eastern United States and Canada, its geographic scope ranging from Newfoundland to Minnesota and from the Carolinas to Alabama. Though a relatively small shrub, reaching a round-crowned height and respective span of 3-12 ft., the Ilex Verticillata’s list of alternative names is anything but small. Its most popular epithets include “Black Alder Winterberry”, “Brook Alder”, “Canada Holly”, “Coralberry”, “Fever Bush”, “Inkberry”, “Virginian Winterberry”, and “Michigan Holly”, among others. The Winterberry Holly belongs to the botanical family Aquifoliaceae, a genus that includes over 400 flowering plant species.

With an expansive 3-9 hardiness zone rating, this shrub flourishes in medium to wet, well-drained soils and prefers full sun to partial shade. In a way, the Winterberry Holly may seem oxymoronic given the image of the classic evergreen, a category within which most people categorize all holly trees. In contrast, this deciduous plant’s leaves shift from dark green hues to sunny yellow-green tones before dropping from the tree. The Winterberry Holly produces a humble and quiet array of flowers in June and July, with its stems providing the brunt of its brilliant color until autumn; in the beginning of its lifespan, this shrub’s bark is a lovely reddish-purple, becoming silvery with age.

Despite its relatively muted flower and foliage coloration, the Winterberry Holly doesn’t disappoint. The female plant provides a stunning display of thickly clustered and extremely vibrant ruby-red berries which cling to every stem. These berries linger upon the curvy Winterberry Holly throughout the autumn and winter, attracting birds and animating the landscape. This shrub is ideal as an ornamental specimen, furthermore providing plenty of material for spectacular holiday wreaths and seasonal décor, and can be planted as a screen, hedge, or border plant. It propagates best if early summer cuttings are rooted, and expands quickly due to its multi-stemmed suckering habit.

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