Maryland Native Evergreens
Ilex glabra ‘Gem Box’
Ilex glabra, ‘Gem Box’ Inkberry, is a dwarf evergreen shrub with a dense, rounded habit. It is best grown in medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Inkberry is a dioecious plant (separate male and female plants). ‘Gem Box’ is a female plant, and if pollinated the flowers will yield black, berry-like drupes. The drupes, which attract birds, mature in the early fall. ‘Gem Box’ Inkberry is a cultivar of Ilex glabra.
We love using inkberry as a native evergreen foundation shrub. The more compact varieties perform better than the straight species and fill in more densely. It’s really hard to find the male shrubs from our growers as they are often ‘unsexed’ so it has been hard to guarantee fruiting. Birds enjoy the fruit and butterflies and bees enjoy the pollen and nectar from the flowers. ~Lauren