Audubon® Possumhaw Holly
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Create a bird habitat paradise with a pretty grove of Possumhaws! This nifty native shrub (or multi-stemmed tree) makes a thicket of twiggy stems that songbirds love to nest in or just take refuge in when pursued by predators. As a bonus, female plants will produce a generous crop of showy red berries for avian snacking. The fruits are rather bitter, so birds tend to leave them alone throughout most of the winter, but eventually the time comes when they are grateful for the nourishment. Robins and other thrushes, bluebirds, mockingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, flickers, and White-throated Sparrows may come to dine then.
May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, mockingbirds, waxwings, flickers, and sparrows.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (18-24" tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
Though it doesn’t look much like the Holly branches you see on Christmas cards, Possumhaw is in fact a species of Holly. This Holly is different from most because it is deciduous. When cold weather arrives, its leaves turn gold and then drop, putting the abundant scarlet-red berries on full display. Even without leaves, a few cut branches make for a wonderful tabletop decoration indoors. Possumhaw is native to the southeastern United States, where it is most often found in swampy areas. Its natural range reaches from Texas to Florida and north to Missouri and Virginia.
Only female Possumhaws bear fruit, but both male and female plants offer something to wildlife—flowers! The tiny white blossoms in late spring or early summer attract loads of happy honeybees and many native pollinators as well. Possumhaw leaves also host several caterpillar species that songbirds feed on.
How to Grow
Possumhaw is terrific for a low, wet part of your landscape that may experience seasonal flooding. It doesn’t have to grow in wet soil, however. Average conditions will do. Choose a spot in full sun if possible, or light shade. Possumhaw, like all Hollies, is dioecious, which means that each plant is either male or female. Only females will make fruit and only if a male plant is nearby to pollinate it. Any male Holly will do the trick as long as it blooms at the same time. American Holly is one other Holly species that will pollinate Possumhaw.
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