Genus - Ilex
Species - Decidua
Common name - PossumHaw
Other names - Meadow Holly, Swamp Holly
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 5 - 9
Height - 10'-30' / 3 - 9 m
Spread - 6'-25' / 1.80 - 7.60 m
Plant type - Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, laom, Sand, well drained
Water requirements - Drought tolerant, average water
Landscape uses - Use it as an informal screen or accent in parks or large residential or commercial landscapes.
Germination rate - 70%
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
Plant growth rate - Medium
This large deciduous shrub from the southeastern United States takes center stage in fall and winter, when masses of bright berries adorn its upright gray branches. Clusters of small white flowers appear along the branches in mid-spring, not long after the bluntly toothed, shiny, medium-green leaves emerge. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Female plants that have a male possumhaw or male American holly (Ilex opaca) nearby produce quantities of round pea-sized berries which ripen orange or red in late summer or early fall. The leaves drop in late fall to fully expose the showy fruits. The fruits remain on the shrub until late winter, but pale and shrivel somewhat as winter progresses. Birds may harvest some fruits as winter deepens. This rounded shrub sometimes grows as a small multi-trunked tree.
Plant possumhaw in full to partial sun and moist to moderately dry, acidic soil. It will not tolerate the bitter cold of areas such as the Upper Midwest United States. Use it as an informal screen or accent in parks or large residential or commercial landscapes. It also makes a good roadside plant. One male will adequately pollinate several females.