Key to Berries Displayed in the Photo at Right:
- 'Red Sprite' (One of Tim's Favorites)
- 'Sparkle Berry'
- 'Berry Heavy' (One of Tim's Favorites)
- 'Winter Gold'
- 'Winter Red'
- 'Aurantiaca' (One of Tim's Favorites)
- 'Berry Nice'
There are a good number of named cultivars to choose from in the market.
Choosing A Winterberry Holly
- The red fruited cultivar 'Oosterwijk' is a Dutch selection that is very popular in Europe for the production of cut branches. It is noted for holding its color and berries as a cut branch in flower arrangements.
- The most popular American selection for cutting is 'Winter Red'. The bright red berries are of medium size and produced in abundance. It is a multi-stemmed; erect plant maturing at 8 to 9 feet in height.
- One of my favorites is called 'Cacapon'. This beautiful plant has attractive, dark glossy green leaves and compact branching. It has abundant bright red fruit and make a great landscape plant with year round interest. It matures to 6 to 8 feet and has a nice rounded habit.
- If you are looking for a smaller plant, 'Red Sprite' is a fantastic low mounded selection that matures at 3 to 5 feet. It has attractive, clean, dark green foliage, and tight branching right down to the ground. This plant makes a great low hedge or mass planting. its low stature makes it an indispensable variety.
- For those looking for something a bit different, try 'Winter Gold'. This is yellow-berried sport of 'Winter Red'. The berries are not really gold, but instead and attractive pinkish-orange that lighten up with age.
- Another attractive color variation is 'Aurantiaca'. This beauty has bright pinkish-orange fruit that lighten with time. It is a eye-catching plant, although a bit untraditional.
Having a rich abundance of Winterberry Holly in Michigan, it is impossible not to hone in on a few exceptional native specimens. After years of observation we have chosen two plants worthy of introduction.
Native Winterberry Hollies
- One plant was located about ¼ mile off a local road, and for years it never fail but to catch our eye. It has dark red shinny berries produced in great abundance and a well branched rounded habit. The berry display was so nice, we simply named it Berry Nice®. (Find a local retailer at Proven Winners® ColorChoice.)
- We had also been observing a native plant located in a ditch right along side the road. For years we would drive by this plant, and every autumn it would produce a very heavy crop of bright orange-red fruit. After years of admiration we finally introduced this beauty under the name Berry Heavy®. (Find a local retailer at Proven Winners® ColorChoice.)
No matter which selection you grow, Ilex verticillata is a shrub worth getting to know and understand. Even east Coast landscapers, who can grow of many fine evergreen hollies, have adopted winterberry as a regular staple in their landscaping palette. If you're a landscaper, or a designer, I urge you to try at least one new plant a year. Make Winterberry Holly this years plant.
Using Winterberry Holly in the Landscape
- It is a tough, easy to grow shrub that looks great in mass.
- Use it in place of Viburnum dentatum, Arrowwood Viburnum.
- It's the perfect plant for wet, or poorly drained sites. Use it around retention ponds or near a runoff ditch.
Don't restrict this worthy plant just to wet sites, it grows just fine in drier soils too.
With the new demand for native plants, winterberry fits the bill and looks good too! As the old commercial use to says "Try it - You'll like it!"