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. 

Photo by Victoria Moyer

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 



Missouri Botanical Garden