Ilex verticillata is a native tree found throughout the southeast, primarily in wetland areas. It does best when grown in moist to wet soils, and anywhere from full sun to deep shade. This is one of our deciduous hollies, and it loses its leaves right as the small bright red fruits are ripening. These fruits do serve as a food source for songbirds and small mammals, but sometimes last all winter (hence the common name Winterberry). It has small white flowers in the spring that attract many pollinators. Ilex verticillata works great as a specimen tree in a yard or rain garden; and it also does excellent in restoration, erosion control, and wetland mitigation projects.