Low Oregon Grape (Mahonia nervosa): Bundle of 10


Bareroot plants sold in bundles of 10.

Out of stock


Sold in bundles of 10.

At a Glance: Under-story plant with holly-like leaves and clusters of yellow flowers.

Height: 2′
Stems: Bark and stems are yellowish due to an alkaloid berberine.
Leaves: Leaves are alternately arranged, turn red/purple in winter, 5-11 leathery leaflets per leaf, leaflets are spiny toothed margins with a glossy topside and prominent red central veins; shape: oblong to elliptic. New growth in spring is copper color.
Flowers: Many in erect clusters that are up to 20 cm (8 in) long, flower parts in sixes; primary color: bright yellow; size: about 0.5 cm (0.25 inches) long.
Flowering Period: April, May.
Fruits: Berries are 4-7 mm diameter, ovoid; dark blue with a yellow bloom; contain a few large seeds 4-5 mm long; flowers are born in an elongated cluster.

Uses: Low Oregon Grape has been used as an ornamental species for decades.  It is favored for its bright yellow flower clusters in spring, the dark purple berries in late summer, and the reddish green leaf color in fall and winter.  The berries have been used (when absolutely ripe) for preserves.

Conservation Uses: Oregon Grape has numerous uses as a conservation species in the state. Its berries are a favored food of many species of birds and rodents, and the young stems and leaves can serve as forage (reluctantly) for deer and elk. It develops an extensive root system in time, making it a good soil stabilizer.

Helpful Tips: Oregon Grape can be slow to establish, and may require supplemental irrigation and weed control during the first growing season.  As with any new planting, it should be watered during the dry season for the first 2-3 years.

Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
Less tolerant of sun than Tall Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium).
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%
low elevation
mid elevation
Soil Preferences
Tolerant of nutrient-poor, rocky soils.
sandy soils
gravelly soils
well drained soils
shallow soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
mineral soils
organic soils
Wildlife Value
Nectar for butterflies
Thorny or protective cover
Birds: The berries are eaten by many birds including grouse, pheasants, robins, waxwings, juncos, sparrows, and towhees.
Insects: Orchard mason bees and painted lady butterflies use the nectar.
Mammals: Foxes, raccoons, and coyotes eat the berries. Deer and elk will occasionally browse the leaves and flowers.


Pojar, Jim, and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska. Revised ed. Redmond, Wash.: B.C. Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Pub., 2004. Print.

“Sound Native Plants.” Sound Native Plants. Web. 31 Oct. 2014. www.soundnativeplants.com.