Ilex verticillata (Michigan holly, winterberry)

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Key Characteristics

  • Shrub, dioecious, twig with peely epidermis, prefers wet sites, moderately shade tolerant
  • Bark thin, smooth, olive green with warty lenticels
  • Leaves alternate, simple, sharply serrate (or doubly serrate) teeth shallow with short bristle tips that point up (alligator teeth), veins strongly impressed (sunken) above, strongly protruding below
  • Winter buds small, dark brown with scattered white hairs along upper part of scales, superposed

Sourced from "Michigan Shrubs"


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Many come from Steve Baskauf at Vanderbilt University

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