Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt.

Oregon Grape

Accepted name: Berberis aquifolium

Shrub to 1m or more tall, small, generally suckering. Leaflets mostly 5-9 with blades usually 5-8 cm long, glossy above, more or less ovate, sometimes purplish green. Flowers erect in more or less terminal or axillary clusters, rich yellow, late winter to early spring. Fruits to 1cm long, round, blue-black with a waxy bloom.

W North America

Occasional specimens have the 7-9 leaflets of M. aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt. and waxy papillose undersurface found in M. repens (Lindl.) D. Don, these being putative hybrids between these species.

M. pinnata (Lag.) Fedde from California and Mexico has mostly 7-11 leaflets each usually less than 4 cm long.

M. nervosa (Pursh) Nutt. from W North America has 11-15 leaflets.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Berberidaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map