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Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium

Common Name:
Oregon grape
Plant Type:
Evergreen shrub
Family:
Berberidaceae (The Barberry Family)
Geographic Origin:
Western United States
California Native?:
Yes
Plant Size:
4-6 feet high
Landscape/Garden Uses:
Mixed plantings
Flowering Season:
Spring and summer
Flower Color:
Yellow
Exposure:
Sun or light shade
Soils:
Well-drained soil
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to little watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 0 degrees F. or less
Rugged evergreen shrub often creeps by underground rhizomes to form broad colonies. The stems are lined by large, shiny, dark green leaves, usually bronzy in new growth. Many 3 inch sprays of yellow flowers are clustered at the shoot tips in spring, forming dark blue, sweet, edible berries in summer. Most mahonias prefer full sun near the coast, light shade inland, reasonably well drained soil, and moderate to little watering when established. Watch for and control the small loopers (a type of caterpillar) which attack and skeletonize the leaves. Hardy to 0 degrees F. or below.