Winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata) is an outstanding shrub for brightening a landscape during winter's gloomy, overcast days. Tiny white flowers give way to spectacular red berries. The shrub's namesake berries show up in fall and persist well into the winter, after the shrub has dropped its leaves. As with most hollies, both a male and a female plant are needed for fruit display.
Unlike the better-known American holly (Ilex opaca), winterberry holly grows to only about six or eight feet tall, loses it leaves in the fall and works best in small landscapes. Orange- and yellow-fruited winterberry hollies also exist, although they are less common.
The cemetery's winterberry holly shrubs are mingled among other native plants at the Niche Wall, in Section 76 and at the Welcome Center area. For the best display, see the winterberries in full sun.
Photos by Rachel Larue, Arlington National Cemetery