Oregon Grape
  • Oregon Grape
  • Oregon Grape
  • Oregon Grape
  • Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape

(Mahonia aquifolium)

Type: Evergreen shrub/bush
Maximum height: 10'
Flower color: Yellow
Habitat: full sun to full shade
Edible: yes
Toxic: Yes

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Also known as Holly-leaved Barberry, Oregon Grape is an evergreen shrub, growing to 10' in height The leaves resemble those of holly trees, although they are softer and thus less "prickly". The leaves often turn red in the fall, but remain on the shrub and turn green in the spring. Although the purple/blue berries are edible, they are somewhat bitter. But jam may be made from them. However the berries contain berberine and other chemicals which may be mildly toxic - especially if ingested in large quantities or by children. The yellow flowers occur in racimes during early spring and can be quite showy on large bushes.

Oregon Grape can spread by seed, but primarily spreads via roots. Over time, they can form a hedge or thicket. They can slowly invade surrounding areas, such as lawns and flower beds, and may be hard to control due to deep roots.

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