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Red Sprite Winterberry

Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite'

SKU
04575
A profusion of bright red berries on this hardy deciduous shrub will brighten the winter landscape and provide food for overwintering birds. Use as foundation color, for a natural hedge, or in a shrub border for seasonal interest. An early-flowering male pollenizer such as Jim Dandy Winterberry is required for berry set.
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4-8

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Water regularly to maintain wet or evenly moist soil - weekly or more.

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Botanical PronunciationEYE-leks ver-tiss-ih-LAY-tuh
LoreIlex verticillata is native to eastern North America where it is typically found in low elevation wooded areas, along ponds and streams, and in damp thickets, and swamps. Ilex verticillata are dioecious (translated as "two houses"), meaning there are distinctly separate male and female plants. The attractive red berries which are the signature of the winterberries are produced on female varieties such as 'Red Sprite' if a male variety (such as 'Jim Dandy') is planted nearby to provide pollen. Generally, one male winterberry can pollenize up to ten female plants. 'Red Sprite' is an early-blooming winterberry that produces female flowers in spring and is best partnered with a correlating early-blooming male winterberry.
Average Size at MaturitySlow growing; reaches 3 to 5 ft. tall and wide.
Bloom TimeInconspicuous spring flowers; prized for foliage and ornamental berries.
Design IdeasThis native deciduous Holly requires a pollinator for a beautiful winter display of berries set on bare branches. Plant as specimens in the landscape, where the bright red won't have competition. Great at corners of fences, around woodland gardens or in the all-native landscape. Good for the bird-friendly garden.
Deciduous/ EvergreenDeciduous
Flower ColorWhite
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleAsian/Zen, Contemporary, Cottage, Rustic
Growth HabitRound
Growth RateSlow
Landscape UseBarrier, Border, Erosion Control, Firescaping/Firewise, Hedge, Mass Planting, Specimen, Very Wet Areas, Woodland Garden, Wildlife Garden, Urban Garden
Light NeedsFull sun, Partial sun
Soil NeedsAll-Purpose Plant Food
Special FeatureExtreme Cold Hardiness, Naturalizes Well, North American Native Selection, Ornamental Berries, Tolerates Wet Soils, Bird Friendly, Tolerates Urban Pollution, Tolerates Road Salt
Water NeedsHigh
Watering NeedsWater regularly to maintain wet or evenly moist soil - weekly or more.
Companion PlantsLily of the Valley (Pieris); Rhododendron (Rhododendron); Magnolia (Magnolia); Hydrangea (Hydrangea); Mountain Laurel (Kalmia)

Provide organically rich, acidic, moist, loamy soil; tolerates wet, heavy soils. Water deeply, regularly in first few growing seasons to establish root system; once established, water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil. Feed and prune annually to shape before new growth emerges in late winter to early spring.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 4-8

USDA Cold Hardiness Zone Map

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