The leaves are retained in winter unless temperatures fall well below zero. Love boxwood but struggle with disease or winter damage? If you are looking to have a more native landscape but also want your landscape to look good year round and look a little more traditional then inkberry is a great solution. But most of these plants are foreigners; aliens brought in to do the manual labor of defining and outlining the garden. Foliage develops attractive red tips during the spring flush. Shamrock grows to 4 feet in height and spread. It flowers in spring and has great dark berries in the winter. Its modest size makes it ideal for small gardens Slow growing, this evergreen shrub grows up to 3-4 ft. tall and wide (90-120 cm). It has bright green foliage and is known to sucker less than other varieties. The whole process went smoothly. Requires a male inkberry for berry set. Pruning should be done in early spring just before new growth emerges, but pruning needs are minimal unless you are using the shrubs in a hedge. Ilex glabra (inkberry) is a slow-growing, upright-rounded evergreen shrub in the holly family. The native species grows 5 to 8 feet in height and spread, although several cultivars have a more compact, smaller form. All Rights Reserved. In spring, it produces inconspicuous small greenish-white flowers. This distinguishes it from other hollies, which often prefer drier locations. Inkberry works well in moist locations, such as woodland gardens are around landscape ponds and water features. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. It maintains good branching right to the ground so it never looks bare-legged. The name "inkberry" is a clear reference to the fruits produced by the shrub, as is the plant's secondary common name, "gallberry." Holly Inkberry Nigra Shrub ‘Nigra' grows as a compact, rounded shrub ‘Nigra' grows as a compact, rounded shrub and thrives in moist locations. Gallberry nectar is the source of a pleasant honey that is popular in A popular selection of our native inkberry holly noted for its attractive dark green foliage (hence the name 'Nigra') and compact habit. You can slow the pace of growth by removing the suckers each year. Ilex glabra, is a great foundation shrub. Buy Ilex Glabra Densa Inkberry Holly Shrubs Online. Top reasons to grow Strongbox® inkberry holly: Plant Strongbox inkberry holly anywhere you'd use boxwood - as a hedge, edging, or specimen. Remove root suckers regularly if you don't want the shrubs to colonize and spread. The berries of inkberry holly were used by Civil War soldiers to make ink for their personal correspondance. A popular choice for areas with damp soil, such as woodland gardens and plantings around bogs and ponds, Inkberry prefers full light and moist soil. Mature Size. Ilex Gem Box - Common name:Inkberry Holly - A perfect alternative to Boxwood, this ball-shaped treasure maintains its dense habit right to the ground – no bare legs! Birds are very fond of inkberries and mammals such as raccoons, squirrels and black bears will eat them when short on food. Female selection will produce black berries if a male inkberry is in the vicinity. Love boxwood but struggle with disease or winter damage? Features. It grows best in full sun, although it tolerates partial shade. In fact, it can take over an area rapidly if it's not checked. It has shallow roots, so a 2-3" layer of mulch is a good idea. As with any holly, full sun and well drained soil is a good idea. This compact holly tolerates heat, drought, sun, shade, and transplanting and grows exceptionally well in urban areas. Inkberry is resistant to deer, and thus is a good choice in areas where browsing deer are a problem for other shrubs. Inkberries are dioecious (meaning there are separate male and female plants). Nordic inkberry by Mary, June 12, 2020. Inkberry Holly is grown as a landscape plant for its glossy dark green foliage. The Strongbox® Inkberry Holly is the perfect replacement for boxwood, especially if you find that plant hard to grow in your part of the country. Holly - Inkberry 'Shamrock' Inkberry is a compact upright form of Ilex glabra with small glossy leaves. Wild birds are also drawn to inkberry. 24 - 36" Details. The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours). It’s compact form makes it very useful for small gardens, and for the front of beds, where it can easily be pruned to keep it no more than 2 feet tall. Inkberry self-propagates by spreading root suckers. The flowers are not showy, but the black fruits can be seen well into winter. grower pot; Best grown in USDA hardiness zones 4-9; Mature size is 4 ft. to 5 ft. tall and wide; Black, berry-like fruits provide food for songbirds; Tolerates shade, acidic soil and wet planting sites; Performs best in fun sun to partial shade Just keep in mind that this zone 5 hardy shrub is easiest to overwinter in containers in zones 7-9. 24 - 36" Details. Fertilize in spring with a fertilizer such as Holly-Tone. As the plant grows, the bottom branches tend to lose their leaves, giving the bottom of the plant a bare look. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries.  This plant is often used as an ornamental plant. Inkberry shrubs hold up well to polluted urban conditions. Bees are fond of the flowers, and the resulting honey has a highly prized, unique flavor. Inkberry is a native form of evergreen holly with an upward, clumping form. NJPlantsandtrees Holly Inkberry (Please Select Size Below) - Ilex glabra, also known as Appalachian Tea, Dye-leaves, Evergreen Winterberry, Gallberry, Inkberry, is a species of holly native to the Eastern and the South Central United States and southern Canada (Nova Scotia). It has a tighter, more rounded growth habit than other forms. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9, inkberry is widely available in various sizes at nurseries and home centers. Inkberry is sometimes planted as a source of food for beehives. Inkberry are a type of native holly (Ilex glabra). If your soil is alkaline, consider enriching it with peat moss when planting your inkberry. 2.25 Gal. Double hedges are popular in … It’s very difficult to find the male inkberry plant. Plant Strongbox® inkberry holly instead. It is native to the southeastern U. S. It typically grows 6-8' tall but can spread by root suckers to form colonies. An excellent hedge or border plant that tolerates a variety of conditions, even warm humidity. Inkberry holly thrives in a wet, cool climate. Resistant to disease, pests, and winter burn. Spineless, flat, ovate to elliptic, glossy, dark green leaves (to 1.5 long) have smooth margins with several marginal teeth near th… It has very similar small, shiny, dark-green leaves all year round, and it grows no more than 3 feet tall and wide, staying dense and bushy right to the ground. Available in better garden centers in spring 2019. They need to be well-watered, especially during the crucial establishment for the first 18-24 months. 24 - 36" Spread. This alternate name derives from the fact that black ink was once made from the galls of oaks. This cool new dwarf, broadleaf evergreen looks more like a boxwood than an inkberry. It is a female form with black fruit and becomes an oval-rounded plant 6' tall and wide (though larger plants are known). A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is best grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained, acidic soils. Inkberry holly is a colony-forming, east coast native shrub for low, wet sites. I also like to use it for massing, especially creating large … May sucker; excellent for damp sites. © 2020 Proven Winners North America LLC. The dense twiggy habit displays an abundance of black berries through winter, accenting the evergreen foliage. Native alternative to boxwood. Requires a male Inkberry … This is probably a reference to the similarity of the leaves to those of the holly oak (Quercus ilex). Prefers acidic soils. The shrubs are also susceptible to chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves) if they are planted in high pH alkaline soil. Little care is needed to enjoy Strongbox inkberry holly in your landscape. 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