Plants of the Week: December 14

Plants of the Week: December 14

Ilex verticillata'Winter Red' Biostream Willets (9) JWCIlex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ is a tried and true red fruiting winterberry holly that grows 6’ – 8’ tall. Among the multitude of winterberry cultivars, it is noted for heavy fruiting and good retention of the bright fruit color throughout winter. Over 40 species of birds including cardinals, brown thrashers, northern flickers, and gray catbirds are attracted to the fruit. Photo credit: J. Coceano

Ilex verticillata'Winter Gold' fruit Trotter Hall (5) JWCIlex verticillata ‘Winter Gold’, seen here outside Trotter Hall is a branch sport of I. verticillata ‘Winter Red’ that bears apricot-orange fruit in abundance when planted near an appropriate pollinator such as I. verticillata ‘Southern Gentleman’. ‘Winter Gold’ is a slow-growing deciduous holly that typically matures to 5’ – 8’ tall and wide. Photo credit: J. Coceano

Rohdea japonica fruit and foliage (12) JWCSometimes you fall for a plant because it’s such a darn good workhorse in the garden! Rohdea japonica is such a plant. It may not have the showiest flowers, the most unusual leaf shape or be the most statuesque but it’s hard to find a better plant for deep, dense, dry shade. Thick, dark green leaves, 1′ long x 2″ wide, form an upright vase-shaped clump. Small, rather insignificant flowers produce attractive short stalks of red fruits that persist through the winter at the base of the plant. Rohdea japonica is slow to establish so have patience. Photo credit: J. Coceano

Josh Coceano
jcocean1@swarthmore.edu
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