Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Winterberry Holly, Black Alder
Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman'

Family: Aquifoliaceae (a-kwee-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ilex (EYE-leks) (Info)
Species: verticillata (ver-ti-si-LAH-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Southern Gentleman

8 vendors have this plant for sale.

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Rickwebb
Thumbnail #1 of Ilex verticillata by Rickwebb

By Rickwebb
Thumbnail #2 of Ilex verticillata by Rickwebb

By Rickwebb
Thumbnail #3 of Ilex verticillata by Rickwebb

By Rickwebb
Thumbnail #4 of Ilex verticillata by Rickwebb

By Rickwebb
Thumbnail #5 of Ilex verticillata by Rickwebb


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Feb 4, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This, the most commonly planted male cultivar, is needed to pollinate the female 'Winter Red' that bears so much fruit. It still looks good, being a neat, clean plant. I planted one among my several females in my backyard in se PA. It looks so similar to the female, I need to see flowers or fruit to tell them apart.

Positive ViburnumValley On Jan 22, 2007, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

'Southern Gentleman' winterberry is a male plant necessary for pollination of all the southern and fast growing wonderful fruiting female plants that have later overlapping bloom time. These female clones include 'Cacapon', 'Shaver', 'Winter Gold', and 'Winter Red' among others. It was named and introduced by the exceptional nurseryman Bob Simpson, of Vincennes IN, who provided many improved woody plant selections for our gardens.

One can determine the sex of a winterberry when it is in bloom (if it is not known if it fruits or not) by examining the small flowers. If the flowers have projecting stamens, it is a male plant. If the flowers only have a rounded bump in the center, then it is a female plant.

'Southern Gentleman' requires no more effort to grow than any other winterberry, looking only for regular moisture (loves wet sites, like by a downspout) and soil on the acid side, though I have grown all ranges of deciduous hollies in KY on circumneutral clay loam soils.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Effingham, Illinois
Naperville, Illinois
Vincennes, Indiana
Clermont, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Perry, Ohio
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania

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