Ilex verticillata ‘Jim Dandy’
Winterberry Holly, American Winterberry
Winterberry, a type of holly, is common in Eastern North America. This cultivated variety is not found in the wild.
Identification: This winterberry cultivar is a hardy, deciduous, multiple-stemmed shrub 3-6' (91-182 cm) tall and 4-8' (1.2-2.4 m) around. It is smaller than the native variety, and considered a dwarf. It has gray branches with large white patches. Leaves are 1½-3" (3.8-7.6 cm) × ¾-1¼" (1.9-3.2 cm), elliptical in shape, with slight serrations. Small white ⅛" (5 mm) flowers have five to eight petals. Winterberries prefer wetlands.
Winterberries are dioecious—that is, they have separate male and female plants. In gardens, both sexes must be present for pollination to produce fruiting. This ‘Jim Dandy’ variety is a male, which does not produce berries. However, it is sufficient to pollinate 9-10 female winterberries, such as Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite'.
Ilex verticillata ‘Jim Dandy’ at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Ilex verticillata ‘Jim Dandy’ at the University of Connecticut Plant Database
Ilex verticillata ‘Jim Dandy’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 4a-9b: