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9/24/2008

50 Natives : Arkansas : Ilex verticillata (winterberry)

The berries get me every time. Little bright red beacons that draw me closer. Winterberry, loaded with bright red berries on slender twigs is one of the prettiest shrubs in winter. It’s especially attractive standing proudly with snow on its branches. Keep the birds off and you can use the berry branches a christmas decorations.
Wikipedia describes winterberry:

It is a shrub growing to 1–5 m tall. It is one of a number of hollies which are deciduous, losing their leaves in the fall. In wet sites, it will spread to form a dense thicket. The species occurs particularly in wetland habitats, but also on dry sand dunes and grassland. The berries are an important food resource for numerous species of birds. The berries were used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes, the origin of the name “fever bush”.
The winterberry is prized 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.

 

Winterberry - Ilex verticillata is a beautiful native plant for winter interest

1. !, 2. Honeybee on Winterberry, 3. Cedar Waxwing, 4. Robin and Winterberry II, 5. fall fruit, 6. berrilicious, 7. Drops of Jupiter, 8. Winterberry with Shadows, 9. common winterberry 2

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