Answer to the Front Page Picture of the Week Question
for February 12th - February 22nd, 2007
This is Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite', Winterberry or Michigan Holly.
Red Sprite Winterberry is a compact deciduous shrub with extremely attractive red fruits that
persist into Autumn and Winter. Ilex verticillata is known as one of the best deciduous
shrubs for ornamental red winter fruits. The leaves of Winterberries are thick and dark green and
contrast well with the red fruit. The foliage stays healthy all summer and isn't bothered by insects.
The shrub is covered in small greenish-white flowers in early summer that are followed by loads of
1/2-inch bright-red fruit that stay on the plant all winter. Winterberries are dioecious (separate male
and female plants). This female cultivar needs a male pollinator (such as I. verticillata 'Jim Dandy')
to produce the attractive red berries. It is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 through 9.
I. verticillata 'Red Sprite' can be found in the Holly Magnolia Collection
at the corner of Holly Spring and Hickey Hill Roads on the left as well as in the
Administration Building circle.