Berberis (Mahonia) aquifolium

Botanical Name: Berberis (Mahonia) aquifolium

Phonetic: bur-bur-iss (muh-HOE-nee-uh) ack-wih-FOE-lee-um

Common Name(s): Oregon Grape

Family: Berberidaceae
Origin: Canada, Oregon, California
Plant Type: Shrub
Persistence: Evergreen

Leaf Type: Pinnately compound
Number of Leaflets: 5-9
Leaf Color: Dark green
Fall Color: –
Texture: Medium
Density: Dense
Bloom Season: Mid spring (Jan-May)
Flower Color(s): Bright yellow

Exposure: Shade
USDA: 4-8
Climate Zone(s): 2,3,7,8,9,14-17
Growth Rate:               
Height: 5-6 Feet
Spread: 4-5 Feet
Hydrozone: Low
Pest/Diseases: Pest tolerant
Soil: Moist soils

Features: Provides fruit/berries for wildlife, jelly can be made out of berries
Uses: Filler plant, screen

Medicinal Properties: Syphilitic dyscrasiae, constitutional syphilis, with periosteal or muscular pains; chronic skin affections, with blood dyscrasiae; profusely secreting, tumid mucous tissues; indigestion, with hepatic torpor; yellow skin, with marked weakness and emaciation. (Source:

Its properties are similar to huang bai and huang lian which are used in Chinese Medicine. Do not use in last trimester of pregnancy due to its content of berberine.

Parts used: roots


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