Mahonia repens

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					                       Plant of the week
                            Mahonia repens
                   Creeping Oregon Grape Holly

      Mahonia repens is an evergreen groundcover that has a showy
display of color all year long. Its stiff branches hold spiny-toothed,
leathery leaves that are glossy green in the summer, and turn a
purplish-red in the fall and winter. In May its bright yellow flowers
bloom in clusters, and are followed by blue, grape-like berries that
ripen in August. It can grow up to 18” tall and spread up to 4’ wide. It
spreads by underground stems to form an attractive ground cover.
      Creeping Oregon Grape Holly is native to the Rocky
Mountains, from Canada to Texas. It grows naturally underneath
pine and fir canopies, and on rocky, gravelly slopes. Native American
tribes used the berries and stem wood for dyes, and made tea from
its roots. Its berries are edible to humans once they have passed
through at least one frost; otherwise they are mildly toxic.
      Mahonia repens prefers moist, acidic soils, but will grow well in
rocky, dry sites as well. Plant it in full to partial sun. It survives on
very little water, but will spread faster with regular watering. It is
hardy to zone 4.
      Durango Nursery and Supply sells Mahonia repens in #1 pots.
Please call us with any questions at 259-8800.