Plant name: Winterberry holly
Botanical name: Ilex verticillata
Virtues: Large, vibrant red berries that ripen in fall and persist through winter.
Flower: Small and greenish white; early summer.
Foliage: Narrow, dark green leaves; shed in late fall.
Habit: Deciduous shrub.
Season: Fall to winter.
Origin: Eastern North America.
Cultivation: Moderate moisture; acidic soil, full sun to part shade. Tolerates wet ground and compacted soil. All hollies are dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. You must plant one of each for the female to set fruit. Choose a male plant that blooms at the same time as the female. USDA Zones 3–9.
Shown: Ilex verticillata ‘Nana’ (Red Sprite). Image courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.
Read more about winterberry holly and good male–female pairings