Creeping Mahonia

zaphod42August 23, 2013

I am unfamiliar with this plant, but am intrigued by possibility. Is it more shrub or groundcover? Fast or slow growing? Any significant downsides? Is it fruiting? Poisonous? Edible? Good for wildlife? Overall attractiveness?

Suggestions for what plants go with it? How do grasses look with it? Thanks!

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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Mahonia repens?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 2:57PM
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    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 3:42PM
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It is a groundcover in that it is low growing and has a spreading, creeping growth habit. But not always a very dense or full coverage. Very closely related to our native Oregon grape, Mahonia nervosa, which gets about twice the height but with a similar spreading/suckering habit. Both are very tolerant of dry, shady conditions and like many dry shade plants, can grow rather quickly and robustly if given rich soil and plenty of water.

Yellow spring flowers followed by purple berries (the "grape" part of the name) that are edible but very bitter tasting - best cooked with a LOT of sugar as a jam :-) Can develop leaf spot, rust and burn if in too much sun. Foliage often turns a burnished color in cold weather.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 5:56PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I would think this would be in the same group as MM. aquifolium and pinnata, and not M. nervosa which resembles some Asian species such M. japonica and M. lomariifolia.

The main thing you notice about it as a decorative element is it is not as glossy and handsome as M. aquifolium, which can probably be grown in at least as many climates as M. repens.

This post was edited by bboy on Sat, Aug 24, 13 at 13:39

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 11:09PM
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