Mahonia aquifolium

tall Oregon grape

Oregon grape is a fairly short widespread shrub. The leaves resemble holly with pointed tips, turning red in fall. These leaves have 5-9 leaflets per leaf, compared with dull Oregon-grape which has 3 leaflets. Flowers are bright yellow, changing to blue berries 1 cm across growing in clusters.

Cultural Narrative: 

Oregon grape berries were eaten in the past, though probably not very commonly. Today, tall Oregon grape and dull Oregon grape berries are used in jams or jellies, and sometimes in homemade wines. The bark and inner roots are bright yellow inside and were used to make a yellow dye for baskets. Bark and berries may also be used medicinally.

Location Description: 

Oregon grape grows in open to close forests, often on drier or rockier landforms than dull Oregon grape.