Winterberry is a deciduous holly that naturally grows along streams, ponds, and swamps. It is an upright, rounded, slow-growing shrub that can form thickets from root suckers. While the greenish flowers are small, the berries that follow are bright red and very showy. Tolerant of various soil types, they’re suitable for many different uses such as rain gardens and hedges. It’s fruit is eaten by almost 50 species of birds, as well as small mammals. Winterberry is a host for the Henry’s Elfin butterfly (pictured above), and plays an important role for an interesting native bee called Colletes banksi, which makes a cellophane-like covering over their stored food to protect it for their larva.
NOTE: Both male and female plants are necessary to produce berries.