Mahonia aquifolium (Tall Oregon Grape)


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Plant Description: The state flower of Oregon, this large Mahonia grows upright with irregular spreading branches. The holly-like dark glossy green leaves are evergreen and pinnately compound comprised of 5-9 leathery ruffled leaflets, with serrated margins and spiny teeth. In certain weather conditions such as cold, sun, and wind, the leaves turn a deep red color. Foliage is great for bouquet use. The yellow flowers are fragrant and congregate in small spikes on the tips of branches. 

Fruit is dark blue-purple with a resemblance to grape clusters. The berries are edible along with the root. The root is also used both internally and externally to fight all sorts of bacterial infections. *CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL FOR MEDICAL USE. NEVER CONSUME PLANTS WITHOUT PROPER ID*

  • Height: 6-12 ft
  • Width: 6-10 ft
  • Watering needs: Moderate moisture, somewhat drought tolerant
  • Sun needs: Partial sun or shade is best
  • Soil needs: Moist, moderately acidic soil. Can grow in heavy clay.
  • Bloom Time: March-May
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This native plant is found growing on canyon slopes and in coniferous forests, chaparral and oak woodlands at elevations less than 7200 ft.

We recommend growing this plant in woodland and rain gardens, in meadowscapes, and in food forests. It is great for attracting pollinators and creating habitat for wildlife.

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