View Larger Winterberry Holly

Planted at Mount Vernon

Planted at Mount Vernon Upper Garden

  • Upper Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    3 3 4 4b 5 5b 6 6b 7 7b 8 8b 9 9b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 3 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b

    Winterberry is a relatively insignificant woodland plant until its brilliant red berries light up the winter landscape. It is a native shrub of eastern wetlands and provides excellent habitat for songbirds.

    Latin Name

    Ilex verticillata



    Also Known As

    Swamp Holly , Brook Alder

    Type of Plant

    Shrubs Shrubs


    Fall Fall
    Winter Winter


    Max height Max Height: 12'
    Max spread Max Spread: 12'


  • Hedge
  • Rain Garden

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun
    Part Shade Part Shade


  • Air Pollution
  • Clay Soil
  • Erosion
  • Wet Soil

  • Attracted Wildlife

    Birds Birds


    Do not ingest Do not ingest


    Native Range

    Eastern North America


    In a January 1785 diary entry, Washington remarked, "I discovered in tracing it upwards many small & thriving plants of the Magnolio and about & within the Fence, not far distant, some young Maple Trees; & the red berry of the Swamp."

    Other Details

    Grown by Washington Grown by Washington

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

    Shop Now
    Buy Tickets Activities Calendar Shop Restaurant Give Membership
    Estate Hours

    9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    iconDirections & Parking
    buy tickets online & save