Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
- Family: Holly (Aquifoliaceae)
- Flowering: May-June.
- Field Marks: This holly differs from the similar possumhaw holly by slightly larger teeth of the leaves and by usually having more than 4 sepals and petals.
- Habitat: Bogs; low woods; along streams.
- Habit: Shrub or small tree up to 25 feet tall.
- Stems: Branchlets usually gray, smooth or hairy.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, broadly elliptic, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, finely toothed, smooth or sometimes slightly hairy, up to 3 inches long, deciduous.
- Flowers: Small, white, less than 1/4 inch long, the male parts sometimes separate from the female parts; male flowers up to 25 in a stalked cluster from the axils of the leaves; female flowers 1-3 in stalkless clusters from the axils of the leaves; flowers with both stamens and pistils also present.
- Sepals: 5-6, green, ciliate.
- Petals: 5-8, white, free from each other.
- Stamens: 5-8, exserted beyond the petals.
- Pistils: 1; ovary superior.
- Fruits: Drupes spherical, bright red, up to 1/4 inch in diameter; seeds 5-10, smooth, 1/8-1/6 inch long.
- Notes: The berries are eaten by birds.
Previous Species -- Possumhaw Holly (Ilex decidua)
Return to Species List -- Group 5
Next Species -- Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)