The bird that planted it must have had some training in design. It grows next to my winter garden area, and the berries are a beautiful addition to the entire area. The berries shine in the sunlight, and it is a feature that is in just the right spot to catch your eye as you come up the driveway. The perfect position! I couldn't have planted it in a better place myself.
Every year it grows taller and stronger. Every year its beauty grows, too. I love this little gift, but for all these years, I have wondered about its identity. Until finally, I saw my mystery holly in a picture on a garden blog. Phillip at Dirt Therapy had a picture of his holly which was the spitting image of my mystery plant. And he knew its name: a possomhaw holly.
A possomhaw holly! Even the name is cute! I was happy to have an identification, even happier that it had an adorable name.
|Possomhaw holly (Ilex decidua)|
Possomhaw hollies (Ilex decidua) grow in zones 5 through 9, and up to 30 ft tall! They lose their leaves in winter, showing off the berries even more than most hollies. It's branches gently hang down, enticing you to have a closer look at its string of red pearls.
Of course, I also have other berries in my garden. The red berries and green leaves of the dwarf Burford hollies show up in various places in my garden.
And the black berries of the 'Bay Breeze' dwarf Indian hawthorn are subtle and sophisticated.
But it's the berries of the possomhaw holly that I love to see.
A gift. Beautiful, striking, and unusual. Thank you, sweet little anonymous bird.