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