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Ilex verticillata, the winterberry, is a species of holly native to eastern North America in the United States and southeast Canada, from Newfoundland west to Ontario and Minnesota, and south to Alabama.

Other names that have been used include black alder, Canada holly, coralberry, fever bush, Michigan holly, or winterberry holly.

Ilex verticillata – the American winterberry – is prized as an ornamental plant in gardens for the midwinter splash of bright color from densely packed berries, whose visibility is heightened by the loss of foliage; therefore it is popular even where other, evergreen, hollies are also grown. The bare branches covered in berries are also popular for cutting and use in floral arrangements. In autumn/fall the leaves turn yellow sometimes with tinges of red and orange.

It is easy to grow, with very few diseases or pests. Although wet acidic soils are optimal, the winterberry will grow well in the average garden. At least one male plant must be planted in proximity to one or more females for them to bear fruit.

Type: Hardy shrub/tree

Hardiness zones: 3-9

Seeds per pack: 10

Note: Ornamental use only. These seeds and/or plants are poisonous.

GerminationSurface sow in a sterile seed-start mix. Water, and place in plastic, and in the fridge for 60 days for cold stratification. Then bring to warmth for them to germinate. Keep continually moist.

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