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Mahonia nervosa - (Pursh.)Nutt.

Common Name Oregon Grape, Cascade barberry
Family Berberidaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Light dry woods and rocky ledges[60, 67].
Range North-western N. America.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Mahonia nervosa Oregon Grape, Cascade barberry


Mahonia nervosa Oregon Grape, Cascade barberry

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Mahonia nervosa is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf all year, in flower from February to April. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. 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 dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

M. glumacea. Berberis glumacea. B. nervosa.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 3, 101]. An acid flavour but it is rather nice raw, especially when added to muesli or porridge[K]. Unfortunately, there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds[K]. Too acid for most tastes but they are very good in jams, jellies, pies etc[183]. They can also be used to enhance the flavour of bland fruits or made into a refreshing lemon-flavoured drink[183]. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter[200]. Young tender leaves - cooked. Simmered in a small amount of water and eaten as a snack[183].

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.

Antiarthritic;  Antibacterial;  Antitumor;  Blood tonic;  Laxative;  Tonic.

The root is alterative and tonic[4]. It improves the digestion and absorption and is recommended in the treatment of psoriasis, syphilis and impure blood conditions[4, 257]. A decoction of the peeled and chopped root bark has been used as a wash in treating arthritis and as an eyewash for red itchy eyes[257]. The fruit is an excellent safe and gentle laxative[257]. 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

Dye.

A yellow dye is obtained from the inner bark of the stem and roots[98, 101, 257]. Dark green, violet and dark blue-purple dyes are obtained from the fruit[168]. A green dye is obtained from the leaves[168]. Plants can be grown as a ground cover, spaced about 30cm apart each way[208]. They are very slow to spread[208] and so will need weeding for their first few years after planting[K].

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, it thrives in any good garden soil[11, 200] but also succeeds in poor dry ones. Another report says that it is best on a lime-free soil[182]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a sunny position[3] but succeeds in heavy woodland shade[K]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants are growing and fruiting well at Wakehurst Place in Sussex, but they do not generally do well in Britain[11]. Resistant to honey fungus[88].

Propagation

Seed - 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.

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, Canada, 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 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
Mahonia x media 32

 

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Author

(Pursh.)Nutt.

Botanical References

1160200

Links / References

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