Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), according the USDA, provides food to small mammals and several species of birds, but the berries are poisonous to humans. As with many other species that bear nuts or berries, the winterberry at Audubon is heavy with fruit this year.
Other common names for this shrub are Winterberry Holly and Black Alder. According to some sources, it can tolerate dry soil. At Audubon, it is almost exclusively found where it is wet.
I love the way it looks – especially in winter when the red stands out against the snow. In fact, I’m shocked that I don’t have a winter shot on Flickr to show you. (I’ll add that to my list of photos I must take!) I just learned more reasons to love it. It’s both dioecious and deciduous (two of my favorite words).
Computer update: My brand new computer started acting up. I took it back and TechGuy had to put a new motherboard in it. I hope I’m truly back up to electronic speed now.
Have a good weekend!