Gardeners in northern climates are faced with a challenge in keeping the landscape interesting when the last of the autumn flowers and colorful fall foliage have faded. Winter is a time when many gardeners resign themselves to a dreary winter landscape, spending their time planning next year's garden. But if your landscape has been well planned, winter need not be a time of colorlessness.Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), a deciduous holly shrub that is native to the eastern U.S., can be a great addition to the landscape, as it produces bright red berries that persist through the entire winter and into spring. Not only do the bright berries add important color to winter landscapes, but they also lure in colorful birds that love to feed on the prolific red berries.Unlike other familiar holly shrubs, winterberry is a deciduous shrub rather than an evergreen. Although one might view this as a drawback, it proves to be a beneficial trait, since it allows the exciting display of red berries to come to the forefront as winter arrives.
It can be invasive in the US and have an aggressive root system in other regions.