Alphabetical Plant Listing

Ilex decidua (Possumhaw)

Possumhaw, Possumhaw Holly, Deciduous Holly, Meadow Holly, Prairie Holly, Swamp Holly, Welk Holly, Deciduous Yaupon, Bearberry, Winterberry


Ilex decidua (Possumhaw) is a large multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub of spreading, rounded habit with rich silver-gray, twiggy, horizontal branches bearing lustrous, oval, toothed, dark green leaves, 2-3 in. long (5-7 cm). They turn purplish green to yellow in the fall, before shedding to the ground. Ilex decidua is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate trees. It produces abundant small greenish-white flowers in spring that are followed by a profusion of attractive bright orange-red berries on pollinated female plants. Extremely showy, they ripen in fall, persist throughout the winter and enliven the winter landscape unless they are devoured by birds or opossums. Providing excellent year-round interest, Possumhaw is a popular landscape plant that can be used as a specimen, in groupings or as an informal hedge. Both a male and female plant are needed to produce the attractive red berries.

  • Grows up to 7-15 ft. tall (210-450 cm) and 5-12 ft. wide (150-360 cm).
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is best grown in average, medium moisture, acidic soils. Tolerates poor drainage.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant or in groupings, hedges. Great near ponds and streams since this plant has some tolerance for wet soils. The red fruited-branches make lovely home decorations.
  • No serious pest or disease issue. Keep an eye out for leaf spot and powdery mildew.
  • Prune for shape if needed.
  • Propagate by seed. Seeds germinate best if planted immediately after collection.
  • Native to the southeastern and central United States.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ilex - Hollies
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 7' – 15' (210cm – 4.5m)
Spread 5' – 12' (150cm – 3.6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Clay Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Great Plant Combination Ideas with Ilex - Hollies

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Sonnia Hill (Flickr), Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ilex - Hollies
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 7' – 15' (210cm – 4.5m)
Spread 5' – 12' (150cm – 3.6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Clay Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Ilex - Hollies

Guides with Ilex - Hollies

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