Ilex x ‘Sparkleberry’

Botanical Name: Ilex x ‘Sparkleberry’

Common Name:
Sparkleberry hybrid Winterberry

Plant Hardiness: Zone 5

Flower: Small white flowers are not very showy

Bloom Time: Early June

Foliage: Dark green in summer, occasionally turning yellow in fall

Fruit: Bright red berries are a bit smaller, but more numerous, than traditional winterberry. Fruit is very showy and usually holds

Habit: Upright mounded shrub that is multi-stemmed and adaptable to wet soils

Size: 12 to 15 feet tall and almost as wide

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade but will have denser growth and fruit production if grown in full sun

Native Habitat: None as this is a hybrid developed at the National Arboretum

Other Features: Ilex are deciduous. Therefore, a male winterberry is required nearby for fruit to be produced



Description: ‘Sparkleberry’ is a hybrid of Ilex verticillata and Ilex serrata, Fine Tooth Holly, which is a native of Japan and China. The berries of Fine Tooth Holly are much smaller than those of our winterberry, and they are borne much more profusely. ‘Sparkleberry’ is a good example of hybridization, because the berries are larger than those of I. serrata but far more profuse than I. verticillata. ‘Sparkleberry’ makes quite a show on a fairly large upright plant which looks very similar to our native winterberry. This plant was introduced by the National Arboretum and is a nice compliment to the other winterberries we grow.