ARLINGTON, Va. – A Dwarf Hackberry growing in Section 8 of Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is the most recent addition to ANC’s list of state champion and co-champion trees. Two sets of measurements were required in a contest that involved two other hackberries at ANC and four other trees growing in Alexandria, Virginia, one of which included the reigning champion.
Ilex verticillata, winterberry holly is an outstanding shrub for brightening a landscape during winter's gloomy, overcast days.
Tiny white flowers give way to spectacular red berries. The berries show up in fall and persist well into the winter, after the shrub has dropped its leaves. Its winter display of berries is the reason behind the commonly used name.
Unlike the more well known, Ilex opaca, American holly, winterberry holly grows to only 6’ – 8’ tall, loses it leaves in fall, and works better in small landscapes. Orange and yellow fruited winterberry hollies are also available, although less commonly utilized in the landscape. For best berry display, site Ilex verticillata in full sun.
Like most hollies though, both a male and female plant are needed for fruit display.
The cemetery's winterberry holly shrubs are mingled among other native plants at the Niche Wall, Section 76 and in the raised berm in the Visitor Center Parking as well as at the side of the Visitor Center Parking.
Photos by Rachel Larue, Arlington National Cemetery