Ilex verticillata
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: common winterberry, winterberry holly
  • LEAVES: simple, alternate, deciduous; shape highly variable: elliptical to ovate, apex acuminate to acute; 1 to 3 inches long, half as wide; margins sharply serrate, doubly serrate or somewhat blunt and incurved; rugose upper surface, lower surface with pubescence or at least major veins so
  • FLOWER: tree dioecious; flowers small, creamy white; 4 to 7 petals and sepals
  • FRUIT: shining red drupe with 2 to 7 seeds; persistent thru winter; 1/4” diameter, often in groups of two to four and short stalks
  • TWIGS: numerous short spur shoots, very thin; older stems with cream-colored, raised lenticels; buds imbricate about 1/16 of an inch
  • BARK: becoming smooth, gray, mottled
  • FORM: Often a multiple stemmed shrub, rounded form; to about 20 ft tall
  • HABITAT: wet sites
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: Minnesota to Nova Scotia thru Piedmont and Blue Ridge with outliers in eastern Mississippi and S.E. Louisiana above Lake Pontchartrain
  • USES: ornamental; eaten by birds and mammals
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. rugose leaves, sharp serrations common
    2. bright red drupes remaining in winter
    3. stem with raised cream colored lenticels