Ilex x ‘Sparkleberry’

(Sparkleberry Winterberry)


Hardiness Zones:

 5a  5b  6a  6b  7a  7b  8a  8b  9a  9b

Quick Overview:

‘Sparkleberry’ is a deciduous hybrid female winterberry that typically matures to 6-10’ tall and as wide. It is noted for its dense, heavy fruiting of bright red berries, with good retention of the fruit throughout winter. This is a slow-growing, deciduous, multi-stemmed, suckering shrub with an upright-rounded habit. Lustrous dark green leaves (to 3” long) turn yellow-bronze in fall.  Showy berries will persist throughout the winter (hence the common name) and often to early spring. Berries provide considerable impact and interest to the winter landscape. Berries are a food source for birds. ‘Sparkleberry’ (and male clone ‘Apollo’) were developed at the National Arboretum in 1961 and released into commerce in 1978. (Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder)

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Easily grown in average, acidic, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Adaptable to both light and heavy soils, but prefers moist, acidic, organic loams. Good tolerance for poorly drained soils including wet boggy or swampy conditions (this species is native to swampy areas of Eastern North America). Winterberries are dioecious (separate male and female plants). Only fertilized female flowers will produce the attractive red berries that are the signature of the species. Generally one male winterberry will be sufficient for pollinating 6-10 female plants. Flowers appear on new growth. Prune to shape in early spring just before new growth appears. (Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder)

Additional information

Common Name

Sparkleberry Winterberry

Botanical Name

Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' PP#4146


7 gallon

Evergreen or Deciduous


Hardiness Zone

5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Part-sun, Sun


6 to 10'


6 to 10 ft.

Soil Condition

Average to Wet Soils

Water Needs


Blooming Period


Flower Color




Foliage Color


Deer Resistant


Berry Color


Fall Color


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