Possumhaw holly

Ilex decidua

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
Photo/Illustration: 
Susan A. Roth
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Possumhaw holly (Ilex decidua)
EYE-leks dee-SID-yew-ah
Genus:  Ilex
While the fresh green leaves and smooth, light gray stems are enough to make possumhaw holly an attractive shrub, the appeal of this plant is more evident in late fall. Bunches of small berries form along the branches and turn bright red as the leaves fall off. Only female plants bear fruit (plant at least one male plant for best berry production), which finally becomes palatable to wildlife in the early spring. Possumhaw tends to sucker from the roots, so it's best to allow it to form a multitrunk screen.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Bright red berries in fall and winter. U.S. native.
Care:  Provide full sun to partial shade and moist, fertile soil.
Problems:  Nothing serious, but watch for the occasional leaf spots or powdery mildew.

Overview

Height
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Spread
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Attracts Birds,
Native,
Showy Fruit
Bloom Time
Spring
Flower Color
White Flower
Uses
Screening,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point,
Waterside
Style
Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest
Fall Interest
Type
Shrubs

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