En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Privacy screen from Temecula CA
May 04, 2013 - I live in Temecula and need a fast growing tree by our pool that is good to block neighbors house.
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for a wedding in Memphis MO
October 13, 2009 - I am pretty new at this landscaping flower thing, but I love it. We just moved out to the country in NE Missouri from Colorado (Huge difference, but love it). We have decided to have our wedding at o...
view the full question and answer

Cuttings from beautyberry from Stockport OH
May 22, 2014 - My beauty berry is starting a new growth about 2ft from main plant, can I dig this and part of the root without hurting the main part, if so, when?
view the full question and answer

Leaves turning yellow on Banana Shrub in Eutaw. AL
July 28, 2013 - We have a very large (about 12' tall), very old (probably planted in the early 1900s) Banana Shrub in our front yard. It was very healthy until last year when its leaves began turning yellow and fal...
view the full question and answer

Need some help with a Plumbago plant in Mission, TX.
August 06, 2010 - Hello..I live in south South Texas and have a plumbago. It gets about 4 to 5 hours of direct sun and lately some of the branches and leaves turn bright green almost yellow. Am I over watering or is ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center