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Mahonia x media - Brickell.

Common Name
Family Berberidaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not found in the wild.
Range A hybrid species of garden origin, M. lomariifolia x M. japonica.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Mahonia x media


(c) Milan Havlis http://www.havlis.cz
Mahonia x media

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Mahonia x media is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 3 m (9ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Feb to April, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Dappled Shade;  Deep Shade;  Shady Edge;  Sunny Edge;  Woodland Garden.

Not found in the wild.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked. An acid flavour but the fruit is rather nice raw, especially when added to muesli or porridge[K]. Unfortunately, there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds[K]. The fruit ripens in early spring and good crops have often been seen on plants growing in sheltered positions[K]. The fruit is produced in large clusters and so is easy to harvest[K].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antibacterial;  Antitumor;  Tonic.

Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Mahonia species, has marked antibacterial effects[218] and is used as a bitter tonic[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

None known

Cultivation details

An easily grown shrub, it thrives in any good garden soil including heavy clays. Prefers a semi-shaded woodland position in a damp, slightly acid to neutral humus-rich soil. Survives under very heavy tree shade. The fully dormant plant is hardy to about -15°c[184], though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Commonly grown as an ornamental plant, there are several named varieties[182]. This plant often produces a good crop of fruit in April and May. It seems that a sheltered position helps to ensure a good crop, as does growing more than one cultivar together and perhaps also one or both of the parents (M. bealei and M. japonica)[K]. The cultivars 'Charity' and 'Lionel Fortescue' have both been seen on a number of occasions with heavy crops[K]. The flowers are very sweetly scented[182].

Propagation

Seed - this is a hybrid species and seed will not come true, though some interesting plants might be produced. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[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 a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. 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. Stems will often root if they are stuck in the ground with most of their leaves removed[182].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

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

Australia, Britain*, Europe, Tasmania,

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 trifoliolataMexican Barberry, Algerita32

 

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Expert comment

Author

Brickell.

Botanical References

Links / References

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Readers comment

Pamela   Wed Jun 11 2008

Have a large Mahonia Charity growing in the garden always crops heavily can we eat these berries as well as leaving the birds some?

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