Friday, November 17, 2006

Possumhaw (Ilex decidua ‘Warren’s Red’)

Ilex decidua ‘Warren’s Red’
(EYE-lecks) (dee-SID-yoo-uh)

This plant never fails to deliver a good crop of brightly colored berries. It is not exceptional during the summer but it isn’t bad looking either. ‘Warren’s Red’ was discovered as a sport at Otis Warren and Son Nursery in Oklahoma City. It grows much smaller than the species. Mine has been growing at the side of a man-made pond for several years so it tolerates wet soil. It is about 5 feet tall and 4 or 5 feet wide, which is smaller than the listed size. I never have had to prune it. It is growing next to a planting of Red and Yellow Twig Dogwood that didn’t turn out the way I wanted. As a matter of fact I decided to remove them yesterday. I hope to get a few more ‘Warren’s Red ‘ to replace them. It looks similar to Winterberry Holly but seems to hold its foliage a bit longer. It seems like it gets a heavier crop of berries every year, which my Winterberries don’t always do.

(Synonyms: Possum Haw Holly, Deciduous Holly, Ilex decidua var. curtissii)

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