Winterberry is a handsome deciduous shrub, averaging twelve to fifteen feet tall, with gray, twiggy, horizontal branches and spectacular red berries in winter.. It is native to swampy, wet areas of Eastern North America. Winterberry prefers full sun and moist, well drained, acidic, organic upland soil. However, it can also tolerate “wet feet”. The glossy, oval, serrated, dark green leaves of Winterberry turn a nice yellow during the fall before dropping off for winter. Like all hollies, Winterberry is dioecious (separate male and female plants). Small, whitish, inconspicuous flowers bloom in mid-summer, attracting bees and other pollinators. If a male of the same species is nearby, flowers on female plants will give rise to the thick clusters of red berries among the green leaves, or packed around the grey stems after leaf drop. The fruit of the Winterberry is very tart and only becomes the food of choice to animals in the late winter, assuring us a long season of “winter interest”. This dramatic and long-lasting splash of bold color accounts for the popularity of this plant among gardeners. In addition to being beautiful, these shrubs also support birds in large numbers late in the season, even into early spring. A number of cultivars exist for this species in the horticultural trade, although the cultivars are not as favored by either insects or wildlife (MinnesotaWildflowers.Info). It is a great plant for use in rain gardens.