Plants - Native Plants and Wildflowers

Brighten up your garden with winterberry

Our brilliant native holly makes its mark in winter's grey garden


Our favourite winterberry cultivars
Here are some of my all-time winterberry favourites:

'Afterglow' Winterberry (Ilex verticillata 'Afterglow')
Compact, rounded habit with persistent orange-red berries and glossy green leaves
Height x width (m): 3 x 3
Notes: Introduced in 1976 by winterberry hybridizer Robert C. Simpson at his nursery in Vincennes, Indiana; may be pruned annually in spring to maintain a semi-dwarf (1 x 1 m) size. Female

'Golden Verboom' Winterberry (I. v. ‘Golden Verboom')

Upright, rounded habit with bright yellow berries and dark green leaves.
Height x width (m): 2.5 x 2
Notes:
Originally bred for the Dutch cut-flower industry at Verboom Nurseries in Zevenhuizen, Netherlands; both male and female forms are available.

'Jim Dandy' Winterberry (I. v. 'Jim Dandy')

Semi-dwarf, rounded habit with early white flowers and deep green leaves that turn yellow-green or bronze in autumn.
Height x width (m): 1 x 1.2
Notes:
Introduced by Bob Simpson in 1985; male pollinator for northern types ('Afterglow', Berry Heavy, Berry Nice and 'Red Sprite')

‘Red Sprite' Winterberry (I. v. ‘Red Sprite' syn. I. v. ‘Nana')
Dwarf, spherical habit with vivid red berries and deep green leaves.
Height x width (m): 0.6 x 1
Notes: Introduced by Hampden Nurseries in Hampden, Maine; although dwarf in stature, it produces large berries (1 cm in diameter) and is perfect for smaller gardens. Female.

‘Southern Gentlemen' Winterberry (I. v. ‘Southern Gentleman')
Rounded habit with late white flowers and deep green leaves that turn yellow-green to purple in autumn.
Height x width (m): 2 x 2
Notes: Another Bob Simpson introduction; male pollinator for southern types ('Winter Gold' and 'Winter Red') as well as hybrids between winterberry and Japanese winterberry (I. serrata), such as I. 'Sparkleberry'

Berry Heavy Winterberry (I. v. 'Spravy')
Rounded habit with an abundance of orange-red berries and deep green leaves that drop early
Height x width (m): 2 x 2
Notes: Selected by Dale Deppe, president of Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan, and sold under the Proven Winners banner. A new cultivar chosen "for its sheer mass of fruit." Female

Berry Nice Winterberry (I. v. ‘Spriber')
Rounded habit with dark red berries and deep green leaves that drop early
Height x width (m): 2 x 2
Notes: Selected by Dale Deppe at almost half a kilometre away for its spectacular colour; another new Proven Winners ColorChoice plant with mildew-resistant foliage. Female

‘Winter Red' Winterberry (I. v. ‘Winter Red')
Upright habit with bright red berries and dark green leaves that turn bronze in autumn
Height x width (m): 2 x 2.5
Notes: Introduced by Bob Simpson in 1977; considered by many experts to be the winterberry gold standard. A branch sport bearing orange-yellow berries with a light pink cast was discovered in 1983 and introduced as ‘Winter Gold' in 1987. Both are female

 

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