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Mahonia trifoliolata - (Moric.)Fedde.

Common Name Mexican Barberry, Algerita
Family Berberidaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry calcareous soils[67]. Slopes and flats in grassland, shrubland, and sometimes open woodland at elevations of 0 - 2000 metres[270].
Range South-western N. America - Texas, Arizona, Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Mahonia trifoliolata Mexican Barberry, Algerita


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Quadell
Mahonia trifoliolata Mexican Barberry, Algerita
Clarence A. Rechenthin @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Mahonia trifoliolata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

Berberis ilicifolia. B. roemeriana. B. trifoliata. B. trifoliolata.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Coffee.

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 3, 85]. An acid flavour but nice, especially when added to porridges or muesli[K]. A subtle tart flavour, it is pleasant to eat raw[183]. Unfortunately there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds[K]. The fruit is also used to make preserves[149, 183]. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[149].

Medicinal Uses



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Antibacterial;  Antitumor;  Tonic.

Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Mahonia species, has marked antibacterial effects[218] and is used as a bitter tonic[181, 213]. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery[218]. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine[218]. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity[218]. The root and root bark are best harvested in the autumn[213].

Other Uses

Dye;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Ink;  Tannin.

A yellow dye is obtained from the inner bark of the stem and roots[46, 61, 149, 181]. It is green according to another report[168]. An ink is made from the wood[46, 61]. Dark green, violet and dark blue-purple dyes are obtained from the fruit[168]. A green dye is obtained from the leaves[168]. Makes a good hedge[149]. The wood is a source of tannin[46].

Cultivation details

Unlike most members of the genus, this species requires a dry, perfectly drained position in full sun, a gritty slightly acid soil is best[200]. It does well in a hot, dry position[167]. Succeeds in a good garden soil[11]. The form in general cultivation in Britain (M. trifoliolata glauca. I.M.Johnst.) comes from the southern part of its range[67], it is only hardy on a sunny wall in this country or as a free-standing shrub in the very mildest areas[3, 11]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A good bee plant[149]. Resistant to honey fungus[88].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[78]. It usually germinates in the spring[K]. 'Green' seed (harvested when the embryo has fully developed but before the seed case has dried) should be sown as soon as it is harvested and germinates within 6 weeks[K]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in late winter or spring. 3 weeks cold stratification will improve its germination, which should take place in 3 - 6 months at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their next winter. Division of suckers in spring[78]. Whilst they can be placed direct into their permanent positions, better results are achieved if they are potted up and placed in a frame until established[11]. Leaf cuttings in the autumn.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Agarita, Algerita, Laredo mahonia, Agrito,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Central America, Mexico, North America*, USA,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Mahonia aquifoliumOregon Grape, Hollyleaved barberry, Oregon Holly Grape, Oregon Holly33
Mahonia bealeiBeale's barberry, Leatherleaf Mahonia32
Mahonia confusa 32
Mahonia flavida 20
Mahonia fortuneiFortune's Mahonia32
Mahonia fremontiiMahonia, Fremont's mahonia32
Mahonia ganpinensis 12
Mahonia gracilipes 22
Mahonia gracilisMexican Barberry20
Mahonia haematocarpaMexican Barberry, Red barberry32
Mahonia japonica 32
Mahonia lomariifoliaChinese hollygrape32
Mahonia napaulensis 32
Mahonia nervosaOregon Grape, Cascade barberry32
Mahonia neviniiNevin's barberry32
Mahonia pinnataCalifornia Barberry, Wavyleaf barberry, Island barberry, Creeping Holly Grape32
Mahonia pumilaDwarf Barberry32
Mahonia repensCreeping Oregon Grape, Creeping barberry, Grape Oregon33
Mahonia swaseyiTexas Mahonia, Texas barberry32
Mahonia x media 32

 

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Author

(Moric.)Fedde.

Botanical References

11200270

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