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Mahonia repens - (Lindl.)G.Don.

Common Name Creeping Oregon Grape, Creeping barberry, Grape Oregon
Family Berberidaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Hills and slopes, often in partial shade[85], usually on dry slopes[155].
Range Western N. America.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Mahonia repens Creeping Oregon Grape, Creeping barberry, Grape Oregon


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stan_Shebs
Mahonia repens Creeping Oregon Grape, Creeping barberry, Grape Oregon
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Aka

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Prostrate.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Mahonia repens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 2 m (6ft 7in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. 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 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 semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

M. nana. Berberis nana. B. repens.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Oil
Edible Uses: Oil

Fruit - raw or cooked[85, 183]. 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]. Used for making jams. jellies etc. They can also be made into a refreshing lemonade-like beverage[183]. When sugar is added, the fruit juice is similar to grape juice[212]. The fruit is about 9mm in diameter[200].

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.
Alterative  Anaphrodisiac  Antibacterial  Antiseptic  Antitumor  Cholagogue  Depurative  Diuretic  
Expectorant  Febrifuge  Laxative  Salve  Tonic

The root and root bark is alterative, anaphrodisiac, antiseptic, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative and tonic[4, 238]. It improves the digestion and absorption and is taken internally in the treatment of coughs, fevers, psoriasis, syphilis, haemorrhages, stomach complaints, kidney problems and impure blood conditions[4, 238, 257]. Externally, it is used as an antiseptic and healing wash or poultice on wounds and rheumatic joints[257]. The roots are harvested in late autumn or early spring and dried for later use[238]. A poultice of the fresh berries has been applied to boils[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].

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Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

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Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Dye  Oil  Soil stabilization

A yellow dye is obtained from the inner bark of the stem and roots[155, 257]. It is green[168]. Dark green, violet and dark blue-purple dyes are obtained from the fruit[168]. A green dye is obtained from the leaves[168]. Plants form suckers freely, making a good dense ground cover[11, 200], though they can be slow to become established[197] and will need weeding for their first few years after planting out[K]. The sub-species M. repens rotundifolia has been especially recommended[197]. A useful plant for preventing soil erosion on slopes[155].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Ground cover  Scented Plants

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Erosion control, Ground cover, Massing. An easily grown plant, it thrives in any good garden soil[11], preferring one on the dryish side. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in the light shade of trees[K]. This species is hardy to about -15°c if growing in a sheltered position[184]. Established plants sucker freely and form quite dense thickets[200]. The flowers are scented[245]. Resistant to honey fungus[88]. Special Features: North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 8 through 3. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. An evergreen. A clumping plant, forming a colony from shoots away from the crown but with a limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is stoloniferous rooting from creeping stems above the ground [1-2].

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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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*, Tasmania, 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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Mahonia aquifoliumOregon Grape, Hollyleaved barberry, Oregon Holly Grape, Oregon HollyShrub2.0 4-8 FLMHFSNDM333
Mahonia bealeiBeale's barberry, Leatherleaf MahoniaShrub2.0 5-8 SLMHFSNM320
Mahonia confusa Shrub1.5 6-9  LMHFSM32 
Mahonia flavida Shrub2.0 7-10  LMHFSNM20 
Mahonia fortuneiFortune's MahoniaShrub2.0 7-9 SLMHFSNM32 
Mahonia fremontiiMahonia, Fremont's mahoniaShrub2.5 7-10 SLMHNDM322
Mahonia ganpinensis Shrub0.0 -  LMHSNM12 
Mahonia gracilipes Shrub1.5 6-9  LMHFSM22 
Mahonia gracilisMexican BarberryShrub1.5 7-10  LMHNDM20 
Mahonia haematocarpaMexican Barberry, Red barberryShrub3.6 7-10  LMHNDM322
Mahonia japonica Shrub2.0 5-9  LMHFSNM32 
Mahonia lomariifoliaChinese hollygrapeShrub5.0 8-9 MLMHSNM320
Mahonia napaulensis Shrub2.5 5-9  LMHSNM32 
Mahonia nervosaOregon Grape, Cascade barberryShrub0.6 5-9 SLMHFSNDM323
Mahonia neviniiNevin's barberryShrub2.4 7-10  LMHNDM322
Mahonia pinnataCalifornia Barberry, Wavyleaf barberry, Island barberry, Creeping Holly GrapeShrub1.8 7-8 FLMHSNM322
Mahonia pumilaDwarf BarberryShrub0.3 6-9 SLMSNDM323
Mahonia swaseyiTexas Mahonia, Texas barberryShrub2.5 7-10  LMHNDM32 
Mahonia trifoliolataMexican Barberry, AlgeritaShrub2.0 6-9  LMHNDM324
Mahonia x media Shrub2.0 6-9  LMHFSNM320

 

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(Lindl.)G.Don.

Botanical References

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