Ilex verticillata winterberry Aquifoliaceae  ILVE; Bx, br (planted), pb, rd, wv; Q, a; K, gt (planted); R, c, h, lp, sm, t;

Ilex verticillata fruit

Ilex verticillata fruit.M. B. Gargiullo (ca 2010).

Ilex verticillata is a shrub to 5 m tall, sexes separate, twigs and bark gray with pale speckles.

Leaves alternate, to 9 cm long 2 cm wide, deciduous, elliptic, margin toothed, surface dull, wrinkled; leaves expand mid-May; winter plant leafless 107 days (Britton 1874).

Flowers small, white, regular, 4-8 parted, sepals hair-fringed (ciliate), June.

Fruit fleshy, red, 0.7 cm wide, pulp yellow, 3-4 seeds; Oct.-Nov., persistent into winter, available to winter resident birds. Fruit eaten and seeds dispersed by many birds, also eaten by mammals including raccoons, coyotes, opossums and foxes (Martin et al 1951; Wilson 1993; Gargiullo personal observation). Seed load 14%. Pulp nutrients: water 77%, lipid 4%, protein 3%, CHO 43% (White 1989); contains saponins and phenolics, calcium oxalate crystals, higher in carbohydrates than I. opaca (Gargiullo and Stiles, 1991, 1993).

Wetland status: FACW+.

Frequency in New York City: Infrequent.

Origin: Native.

Habitat: Undisturbed swamp forests, marshes, stream margins and wet meadows, also planted in restoration projects. Fairly shade tolerant. Also found in freshwater tidal marshes, shrub swamps, swamp forest, flood plain forests, mostly in acid soil, pH 4.5-7.5 (USDA, NRCS 2010). Tolerant of flooding or saturated soil for up to 25% of growing season; soil compaction. Moderately tolerant of drought, shade. Intolerant of salt (Hightshoe 1988).

NotesIlex laevigata is found in similar habitats but sepals are 6-8 parted, not hair-fringed.

Ilex glabra inkberry Aquifoliaceae  ILGL; Bx, sf (planted); Q, j (probably planted); R, gb (planted);

Ilex glabra fruit and leaves.Darren Sheriff. Terra Bella Garden Center. The Citrus

Ilex glabra fruit and leaves.Darren Sheriff. Terra Bella Garden Center. “The Citrus Guy” (Accessed 1/2017).

Ilex glabra is a shrub to 3 m tall, evergreen, sexes separate, somewhat colonial, twigs green, flexible, bark gray, smooth. 

Leaves alternate, 2-5 cm long, narrow, widest near top, shiny, leathery, tip blunt with 1-3 minute teeth, base wedge-shaped. 

Flowers white, small, radially symmetrical, 6-8 parted; June. 

Fruit fleshy, black, to 0.5 cm (on female plants); Sept.-Oct., persistent most of winter, eaten by birds, available to winter resident and spring migrant birds. Seeds about 4, eaten by small mammals. Seed load 11%. Pulp nutrients: water 68%, lipid <1%, protein, 2%, CHO 52% (White 1989), seeds, twigs eaten by deer (Martin et al. 1951). 

Wetland status: FACW-. 

Frequency in New York City: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Normally in margins of bogs and swamps of the coastal plain and pine barrens, Atlantic white cedar swamps, sandy, acid soil, pH 4.5-6. Tolerant of shade; flooding, saturated soil to 25% of growing season; salt; soil compaction. Intolerant of drought (Hightshoe 1988). 

Ilex crenata Japanese holly Aquifoliaceae ILCR*; Bx, rd; Q, a, ft, tl; K, p; R, bh, h, t;


Ilex (Accessed 7/2014).

Shrub to 7 m tall (more commonly 1-2 m), evergreen shrub to small tree, densely branched, branches short, stiff, compact, new growth green, older bark gray. 

Leaves alternate, stalks short, blade stiff, about 2-3 cm long, crowded, shiny dark green above, lighter green below, elliptic or often widest above middle, tip rounded, base tapered, margin slightly toothed, blackish dots below, veins obscure. 

Flowers white, small, 4-parted, male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious); May-June, visited by bees and other insects. 

Fruit fleshy, blackish, 0.6 cm, with 3-4 seeds, Sept. persisting into winter (Dirr 1990; Rehder 1986), eaten by birds. 

Wetland status: NL. 

Frequency in New York City: Infrequent. 

Origin: Japan. 

Habitat: Escaped from cultivation into forest understories, more often in overgrown horticultural sites, very shade tolerant (Greller, et al. 1991).