|Monday Melange: Inkberry Holly|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Monday, 12 December 2011|
Inkberry holly (Ilex glabra) is a medium sized shrub that is classified as a broadleaf evergreen. Unlike most hollies, which have bright red berries, inkberry holly has jet-black berries. Inkberry holly is a member of the Holly plant family (Aquifoliaceae), which includes the beautiful red-berried American holly tree as well as the Winterberry holly shrub.
Native to the coastal plain regions along the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida and across to the gulf coast as far west as Texas, inkberry holly is hardy between USDA zones 4 and 9. It thrives in medium to wet soils, inkberry holly grows to a height of about 8 feet at maturity. The cultivar I. Glabra ‘Compacta’, which is probably the most popular cultivar of inkberry holly, only grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet.
Inkberry holly is ideally suited for growing as a hedge requiring little maintenance. The small white flowers bloom in May and June. The berries are showy and will attract birds to the garden. Inkberries are dioecious, male and female plants are on different shrubs. Cultivars are typically female and will need a male plant nearby if you want it to produce berries.
Inkberry holly is listed as threatened in Connecticut and Maine, exploitably vulnerable in New York, and extirpated in Pennsylvania.
Photo source: www.mobot.org