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Mahonia lomariifolia
Mahonia lomariifolia

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Zones 7, 8, 14-24, 28, 31
Partial Sun
Regular Water

Mahonia lomariifolia

Evergreen, Shrubs


Related to barberry (Berberis) and described under that name by some botanists. Easy to grow; good looking all year. Typically spiny-edged leaves are divided into leaflets; foliage can be quite prickly, so avoid setting mahonias too close to walkways or in other areas where they might snag passersby.

Yellow flowers are borne in dense, rounded to spike-like clusters and followed by berrylike, typically blue or blue-black (sometimes red or brown) fruit with a powdery bloom. Generally disease resistant, though foliage is sometimes disfigured by a small looper caterpillar. Fruit of all mahonias attracts birds. In general, pruning is needed only to remove old, damaged stems or to correct rank growth; cut those stems all the way to the ground.

Mahonia lomariifolia

Native to China. Grows to 6–12 ft. high and 6 ft. wide, with erect stems that branch only slightly. Young plants often have a single, vertical unbranched stem; older ones produce more branches (almost vertical-growing) from near the base. Clustered deep green leaves are held horizontally near ends of branches. Each leaf reaches 2 ft. long and has 19 to 41 barbed leaflets arranged symmetrically along both sides of the central leafstalk (with a single leaflet at the tip). Midwinter flowers grow in long, erect clusters at branch tips, just above the topmost cluster of leaves. Blue berries. Strong-structured plant for dramatic effect. Partial shade, especially in the afternoon. Regular water.

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