Day 47: Mahonia aquifolium

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year


If the spines of its barberry cousin too evil for you to contemplate, or the structure or its nearer mahonia relative too rigid, perhaps the more relaxed attitude of Mahonia aquifolium might win you over. There are still prickles on the leaves, as with the holly which gives this species it its latin name, but the muted blue-green foliage, blushing red in winter, make for an attractive shrub. There small blue berries are edible (though I’ve yet to try), earning it the nickname ‘Oregon grape’. 

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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.