Mahonia aquifolium

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Mahonia aquifolium, also known as Oregon grape or holly-leaved barberry, is an evergreen shrub native to western North America. Here are some characteristics of this plant:

  1. Size: Oregon grape typically grows 3-6 feet tall and wide, though it can reach up to 10 feet under ideal conditions.

  2. Leaves: The leaves are leathery and glossy, with sharply toothed edges, and a distinct holly-like appearance. They are dark green in color, turning purple-red in the fall.

  3. Flowers: The flowers are bright yellow, appearing in dense clusters in early spring. They are followed by small, blue-black berries that are edible and high in Vitamin C.

  4. Growth habit: Oregon grape has a dense, upright growth habit, with multiple stems and a rounded shape.

  5. Sun and soil requirements: Oregon grape prefers partial shade to full sun and well-draining, acidic soil.

  6. Medicinal properties: The root and bark of Oregon grape contain several alkaloids, including berberine, which have been used for their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in traditional medicine.

  7. Wildlife value: The flowers and berries of Oregon grape are attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds.

  8. Landscape use: Oregon grape is often used as a low-growing, evergreen groundcover or as a shrub in naturalistic or woodland gardens.

  9. Drought tolerance: Oregon grape is relatively drought tolerant once established.

  10. Cold hardiness: Oregon grape is cold hardy and can survive in USDA Zones 5-9.