Botanical Name: Ilex verticillata
Other Common Names: Michigan Holly
Brief Description and Notes: Unlike other Hollies, Winterberry doesn’t have sharp toothed leaves and they also aren’t evergreen. Only a pollinated female plant produces the beautiful red berries. The berries, which usually arrive by fall, persist into winter and are quite showy, especially when the leaves drop.
Where To Look For It: Prefers wet or even swampy areas; loamy areas in sun to part-shade; damp thickets near streams; a common choice in manicured but native-conscious gardens of Philadelphia
Ornamental Value: Winter interest; compact rounded habit
Ecological Value & Roles: Host plant for butterflies and other pollinators; winter food for birds and small mammals
Edibility and Other Human Use: Poisonous to humans, but lovely for making crafts such as wreaths and holiday decorations