Ilex glabra densa

Common Names: Densa inkberry holly, Appalachian tea, dye-leaves, evergreen winterberry, gallberry, inkberry
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Holly family

It typically matures to 5 to 8 feet tall, and can spread by root suckers to form colonies. Spineless, flat, ovate to elliptic, glossy, dark green leaves (to 1.5 inches long) have smooth margins with several marginal teeth near the apex. Leaves usually remain attractive bright green in winter unless temperatures fall below 0 F. Greenish white flowers (male in cymes and female in cymes or single), but are relatively inconspicuous. If pollinated, female flowers give way to pea-sized, jet black, berry-like drupes (inkberries to 3/8 inch in diameter)

Most commonly found in sandy woods and peripheries of swamps and bogs or as a cultivated shrub in landscaping. Blooms in spring.

Primary Flower Color: White
Secondary Flower Color: White
Edible Notes: Dried and roasted inkberry leaves were first used by Native Americans to brew a black tea-like drink, hence the sometimes used common name of Appalachian tea for this shrub.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.