Ilex glabra, Inkberry

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Holly species thrive in Mid-Atlantic gardens, and the Inkberry is one with lustrous, evergreen foliage all year.

Print Version: Ilex glabra, Inkberry

Ilex glabra, Inkberry Shrub Height: 6–10 feet Spread: 6–12 feet Bloom Color: Greenish white Characteristics Evergreen with rounded to broad spreading form Dioecious: separate male and female plants Leathery, glossy, oval leaves, dark green above and lighter below, with finely toothed tips Small white flowers in May and June Small, black, berry-like drupes from September to March; male plant needed for females to bear fruit Spreads by root suckers to form colonies Attributes Tolerates shade, dry soil, wet soil, some salt, air pollution, and rabbits; dislikes alkaline soil No serious pests or diseases but may develop leaf spot; deer seldom severely damageGallberry honey produced from nectarAttracts bees to the nectar and 15 bird species and small mammals to the fruit; provides cover Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Well-drained, acidic Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Moist, Wet Protect from harsh winter exposure; prune to shape in spring before new growth appears Use as a border, hedge, or for erosion control*In DE, it is common in the Coastal Plain. Its status in PA is extirpated. In VA, it is frequent to locally common in the south and central Coastal Plain; rare in the Piedmont; and not native to NoVA. Hardiness: USDA Zones 5–9 Excellent Replacement for Barberis thunbergii - Japanese Barberry Buxus species - Boxwood Ligustrum species – Privets Viburnum dilatatum - Linden Viburnum


Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets