Mahonia aquifolium

tall Oregon grape

Habit: 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. 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. Blooms between March and May.

Ecology: found growing on canyon slopes and in coniferous forests, chaparral and oak woodlands at elevations less than 7200 ft (2200 m).

Growing Conditions: full sun to full shade with moist soil, having the ability to be drought tolerant once established, cold hardy.

State flower of Oregon.


**Illustration by Aislinn Adams2010

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Type: Evergreen Shrub
Height: 1.6-8 ft (0.5-2.5 m)
Width: 1.6-8 ft (0.5-2.5 m)
USDA Zones: 5-10
Map courtesy of USDA-NRCS Plants Database.