Gallberry

Ilex glabra

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Gallberry (Ilex glabra)
EYE-leks GLAB-rah
Genus:  Ilex
The inkberry holly has narrow, glossy, spineless leaves and tiny black fruits. The narrow foliage produces a much finer texture than that of many other hollies. A slow-growing, evergreen shrub native to eastern North America, it produces greenish white, inconspicuous flowers in spring, followed by jet black drupes the size of peas. The fruit can persist until the next spring unless eaten by birds. Ilex glabra is rather more casual in form than the spinier hollies and can be used in borders, around ponds, as foundation plantings, or in woodland gardens.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Native to the eastern United States. Evergreen, spineless foliage. Black fruit is consumed by birds.
Care:  Moist but well-drained, organically rich soil in full sun. Plant or transplant in spring. Pruning, if any, should be done in late winter or early spring.
Propagation:  Sow seed in a cold frame in autumn. Ilex are slow to germinate from seed, sometimes taking several years. Take semi-ripe cuttings in summer or early fall.
Problems:  Aphids may attack new growth. Scale insects, leaf miners, and Phytophthora root rot can sometimes be problems.

Overview

Height
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Spread
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Growth Pace
Slow Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Attracts Birds,
Native
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
White Flower
Foliage Color
Evergreen
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Hedge,
Screening,
Waterside
Style
Woodland Garden
Type
Shrubs

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