A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants
Sun to light shade; wet to moderately dry moisture level; adaptable to a variety of soils including clay; acidic pH.
12-20 feet height by 6-12 feet spread; blooms in spring; greenish white flowers tinged with purple; deep red berries in fall that persist into spring.
Growth Rate: Medium to fast
Maintenance: Generally resistant to diseases and insects. Good idea to limb up older specimens to show off the handsome white to gray bark. Takes pruning well so can be a good topiary plant.
Propagation: Difficult from seed and moderately difficult from cuttings
Native Region: Only occurs in Shelby and Fayette counties in the Coastal Plain Province
Very picturesque, upright, irregularly branched, evergreen shrub or small tree. Occurs naturally in wet woods and swamps. One of the most adaptable small-leaved hollies for the garden and is a good substitute for the Japanese holly (Ilex crenata). Requires male and female plants to set fruit. Scientific species name refers to the fact that its leaves were used by Native Americans as an emetic and purgative. Easily transplanted. Many cultivars are available, including narrow upright and weeping forms. Attracts birds.
Note: This is a Zone 7 species. Persons in the northern half of Tennessee may want to consider use of one of the more cold hardy cultivars such as ‘Shadows Weeping.’