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shrub

Inkberry Holly

Ilex glabra

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Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra) at Snavely's Garden Corner

Inkberry Holly

Inkberry Holly

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5a

Description:

An extremely versatile medium-sized evergreen shrub, can be used in the garden or for hedging, massing and topiary; small oval leaves and interesting black berries in winter; reasonably hardy, but some suckering, use where this is an advantage

Ornamental Features

Inkberry Holly has dark green foliage. The glossy narrow leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. The flowers are not ornamentally significant. It produces black berries from mid fall to late winter.

Landscape Attributes

Inkberry Holly is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Inkberry Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Topiary

Planting & Growing

Inkberry Holly will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more. This is a dioecious species, meaning that individual plants are either male or female. Only the females will produce fruit, and a male variety of the same species is required nearby as a pollinator.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden  Topiary 
Applications
Fruit  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

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