Plants and People Project

Winterberry - Ilex verticillata

Winterberry is a member of the holly family. It loses its leaves in autumn. This reveals the brilliant red berries.

The bushes are either male of female. You must have one of each to get the berries. Some nurseries are now selling bushes with both sexes planed in one pot to ensure pollination. You only need one male bush to pollinate many female bushes planted nearby.

Native Americans used the winterberry to make many medicines. Medicinal Plants

The tiny blossoms are very attractive to small pollinating insects. The berries can be essential food for animals in fall and winter.

The berry covered stems are a pretty addition to a winter flower arrangement.

Winterberry bushes have a wide range.




Identification and other facts / More Facts


winterberry bush with green berries

Female bush with green unripe berries

Bluebird enjoying winterberries on a snowy Christmas Day.

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Posted 7/20/05 Cindy O'Hora