Winterberry is a slow-growing, medium to large shrub with deciduous leaves and attractive red berries in wintertime. This plant is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. Only female plants produce berries. The wild type species can be difficult to find because many cultivars exist.
Bees, flies, caterpillars
3 to 9
6 to 12 ft.
6 to 12 ft.
Partial Shade, Full Sun
Medium Soil, Wet Soil
Excellent plant for poorly drained sites with good adaptability to varying soil conditions. Prefers full sun and wet, acidic soil. Chlorosis can be a major problem in high pH soils. Both male and female plants are required to produce berries, plan for 1 male plant per 5-10 females.
Care and Maintenance
Some maintenance required to limit suckering spread. Flowers on new wood, so pruning should occur in late winter or early spring. Plant is noted to tolerate salt spray exposure.
Pest and Diseases
Powdery mildew can be issue on sites with high moisture.
Establishment and Propagation
Typically established from potted plants. Transplant in fall or spring.
Alternative Plant Selections
Illinois native statewide; rare in central and southern Illinois.
Showy red berries. Foliage is typically insignificant and does not hold up well to frost.