Ilex verticillata is a deciduous, dioecious, slow-growing, multi-stemmed holly that naturally suckers.
‘Winter Gold’ is a sport of ‘Winter Red.’ ‘Winter Gold’ bears orangish-yellow berries (the warm hue of a cantaloupe) instead of the usual red berries. In spring, tiny greenish-white flowers appear in the leaf axils in both male and female plants. In summer, dark green leaves glow with health. In fall, leaves age to yellow-bronze and flowers on female plants (if properly pollinated) produce berries. As with the traditional red winterberries, the berries remain throughout winter (thus the common name).
‘Winter Gold’ is a late blooming winterberry; its pollinator partner is ‘Southern Gentleman.’
Attracts birds. Provides cover and nesting sites. Special value to native bees.
How do you know if you have a male or female winterberry? Male flowers have four stamens, they lack the female pistil, and are borne in clusters of seven to twelve. Female flowers have a globose pistil and are borne singly or in clusters of three. Generally one male winterberry will be sufficient for pollinating 6-10 female plants
Easily grown in average, acidic, medium to wet soils. Prefers moist, acidic, organic loams but is fairly adaptable. Good tolerance for poorly drained soils. Prune to shape in early spring just before new growth appears.
Height: 5-8 ft.
Spread: 5-8 ft.
Bloom time: May to June
Sun: full sun to part shade
Water: medium to wet
According to Rutgers University, Ilex sp. are “seldom severely damaged” by deer.