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An evergreen shrub related to the barberry. The plant is in no way related to grapes, but gets the name from the purple clusters of berries. It is sometimes called Tall Oregon-grape to distinguish it from Creeping Oregon-grape (Mahonia repens) and "Cascade" or Dwarf Oregon-grape (M. nervosa). The name is often left un-hyphenated as Oregon grape, though doing so invites confusion with the true grapes. It also occasionally appears in print as Oregongrape.
Oregon-grape grows to 1 - 5 m tall. Its leathery leaves resemble holly and the stems and twigs have a thickened, corky appearance. The flowers, borne in late spring, are an attractive yellow.
Oregon-grape is used in landscaping similarly to barberry, as a plant suited for low-maintenance plantings and loose hedges. Oregon-grape is resistant to summer drought, tolerates poor soils, and does not create excessive leaf litter. Its berries attract birds.
As the leaves of Oregon-grape are holly-like and resist wilting, the foliage is sometimes used by florists for greenery . The inner bark of the larger stems and roots of Oregon-grape yield a yellow dye.
Oregon-grape is a native plant on the North American west coast from British Columbia to northern California, occurring in the understory of Douglas-fir forests and in brushlands. It is the state flower of Oregon.
The plant is used medicinally by herbalists. Recent studies indicate that M. aquifolium contains a specific multidrug resistance pump inhibitor (MDR Inhibitor) named 5'methoxyhydnocarpin (5'MHC) which works to decrease bacterial resistance to antibiotics and antibacterial agents.
Ideal as hedging and in borders
Mahonia Aquilfolium - Oregon Grape
Starter trees are 10 - 20 cm high
1 - 3 £2.75 each
4 - 6 £2.25 each
7+ £1.75 each