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Ilex verticillata - (L.)A.Gray.

Common Name Winterberry, Common winterberry
Family Aquifoliaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards Although no specific reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, the fruits of at least some members of this genus contain saponins and are slightly toxic. They can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stupor if eaten in quantity[274]. The fruit is poisonous[177].
Habitats Swamps, pond margins and damp thickets[43].
Range Eastern N. America - Newfoundland to Minnesota and south to Georgia and Tennessee..
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Ilex verticillata Winterberry, Common winterberry


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ilex_verticillata_146-8832.jpg
Ilex verticillata Winterberry, Common winterberry
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Ilex verticillata is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Synonyms

Prinos verticillata.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Tea.

A tea is made from the dried and crumbled leaves[161, 177]. It does not contain caffeine[183].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiseptic;  Astringent;  Cathartic;  Skin;  Tonic.

The bark is antiseptic, astringent, cathartic and tonic[4, 238]. A decoction is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, malaria etc, and externally in the treatment of indolent sores and chronic skin disease[4, 238]. The bark contains about 4.8% tannin[4]. It is harvested in the autumn before the first frosts[4]. Another report says that the bark is harvested in the spring and dried for later use[238]. The fruit is cathartic[4].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils so long as they are not water-logged[200]. This species tolerates wetter conditions than most members of the genus[238]. A very ornamental and cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -35°c[184]. A slow-growing tree in the wild[229]. A number of named forms have been selected for their ornamental value[182]. Flowers are produced on the current year's growth[229]. The plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut right back into old wood if required[188]. Unlike most members of the genus, this species produces suckers[200]. Resents root disturbance, especially as the plants get older[11]. It is best to place the plants into their permanent positions as soon as possible, perhaps giving some winter protection for their first year or two[K]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It can take 18 months to germinate. Stored seed generally requires two winters and a summer before it will germinate and should be sown as soon as possible in a cold frame. Scarification, followed by a warm stratification and then a cold stratification may speed up the germination time[78, 80]. The seedlings are rather slow-growing. Pot them up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame for their first year. It is possible to plant them out into a nursery bed in late spring of the following year, but they should not be left here for more than two years since they do not like being transplanted. Alternatively, grow them on in their pots for a second season and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Give them a good mulch and some protection for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of almost ripe wood with a heel, August in a shaded position in a cold frame. Leave for 12 months before potting up. Layering in October. Takes 2 years[78]. Division in the dormant season.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ilex aculeolata 10
Ilex aquifoliumHolly, English holl, Christmas Holly, Common Holly, English Holly22
Ilex asprella 02
Ilex cassineCassine, Dahoon, Cassine Holly11
Ilex chapaensis 10
Ilex coriaceaLarge Gallberry10
Ilex cornutaHorned Holly, Chinese holly12
Ilex crenataJapanese Holly, Box Leaved Holly10
Ilex glabraInkberry10
Ilex integraMochi Tree10
Ilex latifoliaTarajo10
Ilex macropoda 10
Ilex opacaAmerican Holly22
Ilex pedunculosa 11
Ilex pubescens 02
Ilex purpurea 02
Ilex rotundaKurogane holly01
Ilex vomitoriaYaupon Holly,11
Ilex x altaclerensisHolly00
Ilex yunnanensis 01
Quercus ilexHolly Oak, Evergreen Oak52
Quercus ilex ballotaHolm Oak52

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)A.Gray.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Jen   Fri Oct 22 17:48:04 2004

I would like to know where I can order this plant, Ilex verticillata (Common Winterberry).

Jenny Daniel   Wed Dec 13 2006

December 2006: I have just returned from a visit to the eastern US, Phhiladelphia to be precise. I visited Longwood Gardens, near Wilmington. Both there and in other places in the area I saw winterberry, Ilex verticillata, looking wonderful, laden with bright red berries. I too would love to try to grow it -- from my researches it would seem that it would be OK in Cornwall. I would be grateful if anyone who knows where it can be bought in the UK could contact me and let me knokw. Jenny D

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Fri Dec 15 2006

There are a number of UK suppliers for this plant, and for several cultivars. For more details, visit the Plant Finder at http://www.rhs.org.uk/RHSPlantFinder/plantfinder.asp.

Site says its from the Nova Scotia Museum. States that winterberry contains theobromine (similar to caffeine) in leaves, bark, and berries.   Mar 24 2011 12:00AM

Poisonous Plants - The Poison Plant Patch

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