University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants - Inkberry

Inkberry, Ilex glabra, Expert Plant Picks, native plants

Inkberry, Ilex glabra

This holly has moved to center stage as a native alternative for Japanese holly, but its attraction does not stop there.  Disease and insect problems are almost nonexistent.  Consider, too, its dark evergreen foliage, glossy black berries, and the ability to grow in a reasonably moist spot from shade to sun (though it prefers sun.)  Lower leaves tend to drop, creating a bare base as the shrub matures, so for low foliage, choose a variety bred to retain those leaves, such as the compact ‘Nigra’. Inkberry is a natural for rain gardens, as well as foundation plantings, and mass plantings. Height varies by variety and growing conditions.
(February 2013)

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