Winterberry is one of my favorite shrubs for great winter color. During a time of year when color is usually in short supply, a nice mass of winterberry can light up the landscape with beautiful red and orange colored berries.
As summer draws to an end, the 1/4″ inch berries that cluster in large numbers along the stems begin to turn from light green to bright orange or red. Partially hidden bybeautiful green foliage, the beauty of winterberry shrubs really becomes evident when the leaves drop off as they enter dormancy in preparation for winter.
From mid-September to late January each year, my heart feels a little lighter as I walk past the beautiful Red Sprite Winterberries framing the right side of my front entry at home. Perhaps winterberry can add a smile to your face if you include this fix of color to your winter landscape.
The female winterberry shrubs are the ones that have the showy fruit displays. To produce the colorful berries, they must be pollinated in springtime by the pollen from a male winterberry.
The varieties we have seen do well in southern Minnesota are Red Sprite, Afterglow, Berry Heavy and Berry Nice. These are all pollinated by a male variety named Jim Dandy. Winterberries are native in Minnesota. We have been watching a cluster of native Winterberry on a portage in the Boundary Waters now for years. The size of winterberry shrubs can be from 3′ in height to 8′ – depending on the variety. Width 3′ up to 8′ as well.
Check out a complete listing of the shrubs we carry on our Plant page. When doing your plant “wish lists” keep in mind the definite need to winter interest in your landscape.