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Oregon Grape

Edible Edible Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer Winter Winter

A common member of the Barberry family that can now be found in parks, gardens and some woodland.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Oregon Grape, Holly Leaved Barberry, Oregon Holly
Scientific Name Mahonia aquifolium
Season Start Jan
Season End Dec
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Shiny with sharp spikes, looking just like a holly leaf.

Flowers

Small bright yellow flowers hanging in dense clusters above the leaves in either Spring, Summer, Autumn or even Winter.

Fruit

Long clusters of Purple to Black berries covered in a light bloom giving them a blue appearance.

Stem

Woody.

Habitat

Mainly in gardens and parks but occasionally spread to the wild as this picture of Mahonia in woodland shows.

Possible Confusion

Holly looks similar but the fruits of holly are orange/red.

Taste

The berries can be very tart but mixed with other sweet berries or with the addition of honey or sugar they are quite delicious.

Frequency

Becoming more common.

Collecting

The ripe berries should be very dark blue to black with a white sheen.

Medicinal Uses

Mahonia has been used to treat eczema and psoriasis but can cause a rash itself and side effects include a burning sensation, hardly a relief from the symptoms of eczema or psoriasis I’d have thought.

Other Facts

The inner bark and roots can be used to make a yellow dye.

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