Possum Haw foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 15 feet
Spread: 15 feet
Hardiness Zone: 4b
A deciduous holly valued for its showy red berries throughout winter, requires a male pollinator to produce the berries; does best in moist acidic soils, good for problem areas; excellent when massed
Possum Haw is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries from mid fall to late winter. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The glossy pointy leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.
Possum Haw is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Possum Haw is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
Planting & Growing
Possum Haw will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more. This is a female variety of the species which requires a male selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.