En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Availability of Michigan Holly berries in Northern Michigan

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - November 17, 2012

From: Saint Ignace, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Availability of Michigan Holly berries in Northern Michigan
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Northern Michigan, and am new in the wreath making business. Last year I found Michigan Holly berries and used them for my wreaths. They have the most beautiful berries I have ever seen, and last all winter. They were very plentiful last year, however, I am having a terrible time finding them this year. I have gone back to the places that I found them last year and there is nothing. Could you tell me when they usually rippen and if the climate has to be just right before they do. Your help is greatly appreciated!!!Thank you, Thank you,

ANSWER:

Michigan Holly Ilex verticillata (Common winterberry) is a beautiful plant during the fall and winter, and as you can see from this distribution map, it is quite prevalent throughout the state. You say you have used it before, but I want to make sure you are aware of this caveat found on its NPIN profile page: 

Warning: All Ilex species may be somewhat toxic if ingested. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a person’s age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plant’s different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.

Bloom time is from April to July, and the berries persist through fall into winter. The woods should be resplendent with them  about now. When you say looked for them and foud nothing, does this mean no Holly berries or no Holly plants?  For information about this problem closer to home, you might try this link to the Michigan Botanical Society, which is the Native Plant Society of Michigan.

For information about wreath making check out this article in our Step by Step Guide .

There is a very well illustrated article on native holly plants in the Winter 2012 issue of Wildflower, The Magazine of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center ; vol. 29, no 3. Members of the Wildflower Center receive a subscrition to the magazine as a benefit of membership.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common winterberry
Ilex verticillata

More Shrubs Questions

Is there a recommended list for Texas Eastern Cross Timbers?
August 29, 2011 - Is there a recommended list for Texas Eastern Cross Timbers?
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub looking like honeysuckle in Odessa TX
October 02, 2011 - Bought a shrub in Pecos, TX yesterday. It looks like honeysuckle but the brightest flat orange I have ever seen. Flower and greenery looked like honeysuckle but when I looked on the Internet under or...
view the full question and answer

Need a shrub to conceal a privacy fence in Knightdale, NC.
August 03, 2011 - Could you recommend a medium-sized shrub/bush (max height of 6-7 feet) to plant along a privacy fence (purpose is to conceal the fence from the street view per HOA)? I live in Zone 8.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs native to North Georgia
March 26, 2007 - I am looking for native plants (shrubs) that will stay green during the winter in North Georgia. We are completing a xeriscape landscape plan as a demonstration site and have many native plants donate...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub with fall color in Round Rock, TX
September 21, 2009 - I am looking for a shrub that has fall color much like the burning bush euonymus, but needs to be evergreen the rest of the year since it will be used as a foundation plant. Are there any plants that...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center