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Red Sprite Winterberry

Category:

A naturally dwarf deciduous holly with extremely colorful bright red berries throughout winter, requires a male pollinator; upright growth habit, suckers into colonies; requires moist to wet acidic soils, good for problem areas; excellent when massed

Characteristics

Species:
verticillata
Other Species Names:
Black Alder
Average Landscape Height:
4 feet
Average Landscape Width:
4 feet
Genus:
Ilex
Cultivar:
Red Sprite
Branching:
multi-stemmed
Plant Form:
round
Canopy:
closed
Density:
dense
Growth Rate:
slow
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Summer Foliage Color:
dark green
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Minimum Moisture:
moist
Pollution Tolerance:
medium

Ornamental Features

Red Sprite Winterberry is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries from mid fall to late winter. It has dark green deciduous foliage. The pointy leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color.

Landscape Attributes

Red Sprite Winterberry is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Red Sprite Winterberry will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more. This is a female variety of the species which requires a male selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

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