BLACK ALDER WINTERBERRY FEVERBUSH





(Ilex verticillata) Holly family



Flowers - Small, greenish white, the staminate clusters 2 to 10

flowered the fertile ones 1 to 3 flowered. Stem: A shrub 6 to 25

ft. high. Leaves: Oval, tapering to a point, about 1 in. wide,

saw-edged, dark green, smooth above, hairy, especially along

veins underneath. Fruit: Bright red berries, about the size of a

pea, apparently whorled around the twigs.

Preferred Habitat - Swamps, ditches, fencerows, and low thickets.

Flowering Season - June-July.

Distribution - Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Missouri.



Beautiful bright red berries, dotted or clustered along the naked

twigs of the black alder, add an indispensable cheeriness to the

somber winter landscape. Bunches of them, commonly sold in the

city streets for household decoration, bring twenty-five cents

each; hence the shrubs within a large radius of each market get

ample pruning every autumn. The leaves turn black before dropping

off.



The SMOOTH WINTERBERRY (I. laevigata), a similar species, but of

more restricted range, ripens its larger, orange-red berries

earlier than the preceding, and before its leaves, which turn

yellow, not black, in autumn, have fallen. Another distinguishing

feature is that its small, greenish-white staminate flowers grow

on long, very slender pedicels; whereas the solitary fertile

flowers are much nearer the stern.





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