Ilex verticillata

2005 – Winterberry Holly

One of the few deciduous hollies, winterberry holly produces an abundance of persistent red berries that provide a splash of color throughout winter.
Commonly found in both wooded areas and swampy areas, this holly will grow 6 to 10 feet tall in an upright, spreading manner. They grow best in moist, poorly-drained soils and in full sun to partial shade, though plants in sunny areas produce more berries. These berries only form on female plants and require male plants for pollination. So for best results, be sure to plant a male nearby.

Winterberry hollies are great plants for massing in wet soils or prominently along borders where the berries can be viewed during the winter. They are easy to maintain and have few insect and disease problems.

Rhododendron periclymenoides

2004 – Pinxterbloom Azalea

The pinxterbloom azalea is a native, deciduous azalea that occurs naturally here at the Arboretum.  These shrubs spread via underground stems and can grow to be 8-10 feet tall.  They are extremely adaptable, growing in partial to full shade and in a variety of soil conditions from dry, sandy soils to moist stream banks.  The pinxterbloom is most attractive in the spring, when it is adorned with trusses of 6-12 narrow, fragrant, white to pink flowers.

To see the Arboretum’s collection of pinxterbloom azaleas, follow the Woodland Walk in early May when they are at their peak.

Hydrangea quercifolia

2003 – Oakleaf Hydrangea

The oakleaf hydrangea is a deciduous, mound-forming shrub that grows to a height of 4 to 8 feet with a wider spread. This coarse, irregular plant provides all-season interest. In summer it has large panicles of white flowers that turn pinkish and eventually tan as the season extends into autumn. Plants that get plenty of sun will turn red to purple in autumn and, in winter the cinnamon-colored, exfoliating bark stands out against the stark landscape. With proper placement in shrub borders, mass plantings, or as foundation plants, the oakleaf hydrangea will become a favorite in any garden.

Oakleaf hydrangeas prefer moist, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. They are susceptible to deer damage despite the toxicity of many of the parts of the plant.

Aronia arbutifolia

2015 – Chokeberry

Chokeberry is an attractive multi-stemmed deciduous shrub that maintains great horticultural interest throughout the seasons.  Beautiful corymbs of showy white flowers appear in April, and the leaves change to a bright red color as fall arrives.  The glossy red fruits ripen in the fall and persist well into winter.  These fruits are edible, but so incredibly tart that they may cause you to choke, rightfully earning this shrub’s common name as Chokeberry.  Even the birds wait until it frosts for them to sweeten.  Although it can withstand part shade, plant the Chokeberry in full sun for best fruit production.

Chokeberry is a member of the Rose family and grows from Maine south to Florida, and west to Texas.  It is hardy in zones 4-9, reaching 6-10 feet high while spreading 3-6 feet, developing into a vase shape in maturity.  This shrub tends to sucker and form colonies.  It can tolerate a wide range of soil types and it can withstand relatively wet conditions, as it often grows near wetlands.  Currently there are differences in the accepted scientific names.  The plant is sometimes referred to as Photinia pyrifolia, although here at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens we accept and use Aronia arbuitfolia as its official name.