Identification: This winterberry cultivar is a hardy, deciduous,
multiple-stemmed shrub 2½-3′ (76-91 cm) tall and 2½-3′ (76-91 cm) 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.
Round bright red fruits, ¼″ (6.3 mm) in diameter, persist through much of the winter. The fruits form in clusters or whorls around the stems, and they are very abundant on 'Red Sprite.'
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 'Red Sprite' variety is a female, and requires pollination by
a male variety such as Ilex verticillata 'Jim Dandy'.