Ilex glabra | Inkberry

Evergreen Native. Light airy texture with dense slender leaves and rounded habit. One of my favorite leaves. Use in borders, foundations or woodland garden near ponds or streams. Good even for tough urban territory. Can create a very nice hedge. May be used as substitute for Ilex crenata for something more unusual in a residential landscape to naturalize.

Transfer B&B if root trimmed. Heat and drought tolerant. Prune to shape in early spring just before new growth begins. Needs minimal pruning as a hedge, but may be sheared regularly to form a lower growing hedge. It can be cut back severely for rejuvenation when it begins to get leggy. Prone to breakage under heavy ice.

Dioecious, needs male for female to produce jet black berries. Spreads by rhizomes. id: only a few uneven serrations on upper half of narrow smallish leaf, normal sp. leaves grow only on top 1/3rd of plant which can be very good for spots where visibility counts or you want to underplant. Not too expensive.
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above is ‘Densa’ at Greensprings Gardens in VA
‘Compacta’ dense 3′ to 4′/4′ to 6′ shrub (haven’t seen this one yet)
‘Shamrock’ 1/2 the normal size, compact and has leaves that grow farther down the plant than normal (50%)
‘Nordic’ an especially cold tolerant male variety that grows to 4′ tall and retains a tighter form
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 5 – 8 | part sun to full shade (likes shade best)
GROWTH RATE ….. slow
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 4’ to 8’ / 20’ to 40’ (great variation)
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. rounded, dense, multi-stemed
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. spineless narrow obvate 1.5″ x ½”, sturdy.
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | lustrous dark green fades to olive in winter

BARK | smooth, dark greenish brown
BERRIES | jet black, showy, appears in fall gives winter interest, attracts bird
FLOWERS | hidden dainty 6 part tiny white flower with yellow center
SOIL grows in wet to medium wet. Can tolerate drought, though. Adaptable to light and heavy clay.
Native to the pine flatwoods of the eastern and south-central US. Not happy with salt so stear clear of concrete.

MO Botanical Garden | Ilex glabra

VA Tech Dendronolgy | Ilex glabra

Duke | Ilex glabra


below right Ilex glabra ‘Shamrock’, next to another colutivar on left.