Winterberry hollies are dioecious, meaning that the male and female flowers grow on separate shrubs, so at least one male shrub is needed to pollinate a planting of up to about 7-9 females to get the best berry set. Without a male, berry set will be sporadic. Winterberry hollies like full sun and moist, acidic soils. They will tolerate swampy or boggy conditions, and they grow well in rain gardens. They also attract birds and wildlife, who will eat the berries through the winter. They should not be sheared, but light pruning is ok in spring before the new growth appears.
- The leaves are elliptic in shape, with very finely toothed edges. They do not have any spines like other hollies do.
- The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems.
- Tiny white flowers appear in summer along the stems but are not very noticeable.
- Bright red berries clustered along the stems mature in the fall. The berries are mainly formed on new growth.