Ilex glabra 'Nigra'

Ilex glabra (Nigra Inkberry Holly)

Nigra Inkberry Holly

This upright, clump-forming, evergreen shrub is valued for its foliage and fruits. The lustrous, dark green leaves may have a few obtuse teeth toward the leaf apex or they may have entire margins. They are obovate to oblanceolate in shape and may reach a length of 3/4 to 2 inches. Female plants have berry-like, black drupes that occur from September to May of the following year.

These 6- to 8-foot-tall plants are especially valuable to birds for their persistent fruits and branch structures. The flowers of Ilex glabra appear in May, and the staminate and pistillate flowers occur on separate plants. The female flowers are solitary, and the male flowers are borne on a stalk consisting of 3 or more flowers. Both sexes of flowers have creamy white petals and are inconspicuous. This plant is considered mostly allergy free and causes little or no allergy problems in most people.

Ilex glabra prefers a full sun to partial shade location in the landscape and moist, acid soils; high pH soils should be avoided. Older plants may be renewed by heavy pruning as lower branches loose foliage with time. Inkberry is excellent when used in mass plantings and as naturalizing material. It has been utilized as a hedge, foundation plant and accent plant. It makes a poor hedge because it thins toward the bottom, but plants withstand renewal pruning if they get too leggy. Plants can be found in nature growing at the edge of swamps. Plants serve as hosts for butterfly larvae.

6-10 Feet


6-10 Feet


USDA Hardiness Zone 5A to 10A

Characteristics & Attributes

Mass Plant
Partial Sun/Shade
Growth Rate
Soil Moisture Needs
6118 Hwy. 70 West
Clayton, NC 27520
Tel: (919) 989-9000
Fax: (919) 989-8010
© 2022 Fowler's Nursery and Greenhouses