Winterberry Ilex Berry Poppins and Mr. Poppins

Perfectly paired for pollination, Ilex Berry Poppins® and Mr. Poppins® work in concert to deliver an exhilarating wintertime display of bright red berries.

ilex winterberry bush

A Top 10 Landscape Shrub of the Year in 2021, homeowners and landscape experts appreciate the space-saving habit, expansive Zone hardiness, and unique timing of its showiest season that makes this pair an exceptional addition to your foundation, border, and woodland garden. These shrubs thrive across the country in Zones 3-9.


ilex shrub ilex berries in winter

When you want bright winter color but don’t have space for conventional Ilex verticillate, choose these dwarf winterberry bushes for their excellent, heavy fruiting. In summer, both shrubs present an upright, verdant habit, with bright green leaves. As summer wanes, Ilex Berry Poppins exhibits small, green berries that mature into astounding, perfectly round, fire engine red berries that last through winter. Mr. Poppins will not bear fruit on its own but is essential for pollinating female varieties. Mr. Poppins is also a petite shrub and can be easily tucked away in the landscape. Plant a single Mr. Poppins (within 50 feet) as the pollinator for up to five female Berry Poppins shrubs. Line your driveway or dot your winter landscape with these petite, jolly shrubs.

The leaves of ilex winterberry (also known as common winterberry, winterberry, Michigan holly, black alder) are not shaped with pointed teeth like other hollies and are not evergreen. The Ilex Berry Poppins and Mr. Poppins hollies lose their leaves every autumn. But Berry Poppins makes up for it with a heavy berry display that shines colorfully in the winter landscape. As a native species to North America, winterberry attracts birds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Wildlife utilizes the shrub for cover, as a nesting site, to gather nectar, and birds enjoy the fruit. Pets and humans must not consume the berries. All Ilex species may be somewhat toxic if ingested.

In part sun to full sun exposure, from Delaware to California, Pennsylvania to Texas and everywhere in between, plant a dose of winter cheer with these perfectly paired, miniature shrubs with exceptionally lovely winter interest. Snip a few branches and add them to pine boughs and greenery at the holidays, too.