In the Garden
Ilex verticillata is a shrub growing to 1–5 meters tall. It is one of a number of hollies which are deciduous, losing their leaves in the fall. A winterberry with no leaves covered with bright red berries is a truly spectacular sight. In wet sites, it will spread to form a dense thicket, while in dry soil it remains a tight shrub. The leaves are glossy green, with a serrated margin and an acute apex. The flowers are small, 5 mm diameter, with five to eight white petals.
This is a tough plant which is easy to grow, with very few diseases or pests. Although wet acidic soils are optimal, the winterberry will grow well in any average garden soil. It will not thrive in the hottest climates.