Wooden Surface

Ilex glabra

If you love the color and berries of holly but don’t enjoy the spiny leaves of the American Holly, Ilex glabra might be just the shrub for you! Known as Inkberry, this evergreen holly grows to 8-10 feet tall and can adapt to a wide variety of sun and soil conditions.


There are a couple of considerations that need to be taken when adding these to your landscape. While these shrubs are very full and bushy when they are young, they tend to lose the lower leaves as they age, so they will have a “leggy” appearance when fully grown. This isn’t a bad thing! Plan to have these as a background planting with a full perennial garden in front.


Inkberry can also tolerate a heavy pruning, if you enjoy that sort of thing. In a more formal setting, Inkberry could well take the place of the ornamental boxwood. If you are interested in having the berries (which you should! The birds love them!) you will need to have both a female and male plant. It can be very difficult to sex a young shrub or tree so plan on planting 3-5 of the same species within an area to insure at least one of each. You will need at least one male for every 20 females to see berries.




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Ilex glabra (Inkberry)

  • details

    SIZE: 1 gallon pot
    type: shrub
    sun needs: part sun
    water needs: average to wet
    height: 3-4'
    plant spacing: 3' distance?
    bloom time: June-September
    bloom color: white
  • good plant companions

    Panicum virgatum, redtwig dogwood, blueberry, winterberry

  • special notes

    salt tolerant. Some salt exposure should not be fatal to the plant but some leaf burning may still occur.
    deer resistant (please note that does not mean deer proof)