Winterberry Holly, Black Alder 'Jim Dandy'

Ilex verticillata

Family: Aquifoliaceae (a-kwee-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ilex (EYE-leks) (Info)
Species: verticillata (ver-ti-si-LAH-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Jim Dandy
Hybridized by B. Simpson
Registered or introduced: 1992




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 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:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

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


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

Indianapolis, Indiana

Vincennes, Indiana

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Ithaca, New York

Glouster, Ohio

West Chester, Pennsylvania

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

In southeast Pennsylvania this male cultivar usually is matched with the very similar 'Red Sprite' as the female berry bearer. Both cultivars in landscapes usually only get about 5 to 6 feet high and are therefore more compact growing than the other cultivars or the straight species. It is commonly planted in this region, though not as much as 'Southern Gentleman & 'Winter red'.


On Jan 21, 2007, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

'Jim Dandy' winterberry is a male plant necessary for pollination of all the wonderful fruiting female plants that have overlapping bloom time. These female clones include 'Afterglow', 'Aurantiaca', 'Chrysocarpa', 'Red Sprite', and 'Stoplight' among many others. This early and heavy blooming plant was selected and introduced by the late Bob Simpson, extraordinary nurseryman from Vincennes IN.

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.

'Jim Dandy' requires no more effort to grow than any other winterberry, looking only for reg... read more


On Oct 23, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have two of these winterberry bushes that reside at each corner of my back porch. They appreciate a little extra water during the summer, but will handle dry stretches without too much stress.

In the summer honeybees will cover the small whitish blossoms for weeks. Easily pruned in early spring or late fall to keep in shape and will provide wonderful red berries in the fall for the birds. The foliage is a nice medium green.

One of those bushes that you plant and don't think about unless it's blooming or has berries on it. A nice little bush!