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Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress™’ (photo courtesy of Sunset Western Garden Collection)
Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress™’ (photo courtesy of Sunset Western Garden Collection)

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Zones 6-9, 14-24
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Minimal Water

Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress™’

Evergreen, Shrubs, Decorative fruit or berries, Flowers


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 eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress™’

Few plants offer the texture that ‘Soft Caress’ provides in the shade garden. In spring, bright yellow flowers stand atop the slender, bamboo-like foliage. Compact enough to use in containers, yet large enough for foundation plantings or borders. From the Sunset Western Garden Collection.

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