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Gallberry, Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Copyright by: John Bradford

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also an accent shrub.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Medium shrub with stiff, dark green leaves.

Dimensions: About 4-8 feet in height. Colonial, forming large masses from underground stems (rhizomes).

Growth Rate: Slow.

Range: Eastern and southeastern United States west to Texas and south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Wet pinelands.

Soils: Wet to moist, moderately well-drained sandy soils, with or without humus, acid pH.

Nutritional Requirements: Low to moderate; it can grow in nutrient poor soils or soils with some organic content.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants.

Flowering Season: Winter-spring; peak in spring.

Fruit: Round black drupe. Often persistent throughout the winter.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Flowers attract bees.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed after the fruit is fully ripe. Clean and plant right away; the seeds do not store well. Plant in a container with at least 2" of soil. Sprinkle soil to just cover the seeds. Place in full sun.

Comments: Clump forming.

Copyright by: John Bradford

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area, Broward County, Florida

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Wes Jurgens

Other data on Ilex glabra available from:

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