Winterberry

WinterberryWinterberry is one of the most common Hollies in the East.  In the Northeastern United States, only three species of native Hollies are shrubs. One of these is the Winterberry Holly, which is also known by the confusing name of Black Alder. Although the plant is note related to the Alders, it often grows in the same areas especially near water.  The flowers of all Hollies are unisexual.  Both sexes may sometimes appear to be present in a particular bloom, but in these cases one is non-functional.  The fruits ripen by late summer and provide a significant source of food for wildlife. Thirty-five species of birds and mammals are known to feed on the fruits and deer browse the foliage.  In addition to their value as a food source, the evergreen Hollies provide valuable cover during the winter.

 

OtherCommonName:

Black-alder

ScientificName:

Ilex verticillata

Community:

Thicket

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

to 15 feet

FruitingTime:

Mid September to October

Distribution:

Statewide in NJ

FloweringTime:

Mid June to July

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Flowers solitary or few together, small, greenish white ~ Leaves round-obvate to elliptic or lance-oblong, usually taper to a sharp point with numerous teeth