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Winterberry Fruit Brightening the Landscape

11-17-14 winterberry IMG_5797Winterberry (Ilex verticilatta) fruits mature in late summer and early fall, but they are much more evident now that most of the leaves have fallen off this deciduous member of the Holly family. Because these shrubs are dioecious (male and female flowers appear on separate plants), only the female shrubs bear fruit. The bright red berries often persist through the winter and provide cedar waxwings, bluebirds and robins with food long after most fruit has disappeared.

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6 responses

  1. Kit

    Could have been taken in our backyard. 🙂

    Sent from Mission Control

    November 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

  2. Roseanne Saalfield

    Mary, so looking forward to hearing you tomorrow in Harvard. Jim and I will be there. I am finally getting around to making this year’s annual contribution to your blog, apologies for tardiness. we met, you may remember, at the Audubon shop in Lincoln when I bought a bunch of copies of your book. (Yes, we also have the Pam Durrant connection. She’s recently had hip surgery. It went well and she feels fine but I’m not sure about her ability to sit in a folding chair. We’ll both find out. I have not yet had the pleasure of hearing you speak….my own winterberries are nearly all gone to the ubiquitous robin.


    November 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm

  3. Dianne and Ed

    Hi Mary,

    Is this plant also called a ‘Black Alder’?

    :-), Dianne

    November 18, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    • HI Dianne,
      The real Black Alder, Alnus glutinosa, is a member of the Birch family, and not a native shrub, although it is found in eastern U.S. Another common name for Winterberry is, however, Black Alder Winterberry, and this is probably what you are thinking of .

      November 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm

  4. Sara DeMont

    Such a nice picture as we enter the cold season.

    November 18, 2014 at 3:33 pm

  5. Winterberry is such a visual treat this time of year. Mine will barely last ’til Christmas, the birds won’t wait!

    November 21, 2014 at 5:10 pm

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