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The Plant Guide

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Black alder

Ilex verticillata

EYE-leks ver-tih-sih-LAY-tah Audio

Ilex verticillata 'Afterglow'

This plant is a suckering shrub or small tree with toothed, pointy, bright green leaves. It bears white flowers in spring, which are followed by spherical dark red to scarlet berries that persist through the winter. Some fruit ripens to yellow or orange.

CareAdaptable to wet soil conditions and likes full sun to partial shade. Use as specimen tree or in a woodland garden. Plant or transplant in spring. Grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Hollies are dioecius, so a few male plants are needed for a female plant to produce berries. Dwarf male cultivars are available for this purpose.

PropagationSemi-ripe cuttings in summer or early autumn.

ProblemsYoung shoots are susceptible to aphids. Phytophtora root rot sometimes occurs.

  • Genus : Ilex
  • Plant Height : 10 to 15 feet
  • Plant Width : 10 to 15 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage, Showy Fruit
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Flower Color : White
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