Mahonia Flower

rambling ratz

The Mahonia shrub growing in the middle of the garden path is starting to flower.Photo of yellow Mahonia flower

There are approximately 70 different species in the genus of Mahonia, in the Berberidaceae family. Indeed there is some argument as to whether they are actually Berberis and not Mahonia as the two are so closely related and hybridize. I think this one is most likely to be Mahonia aquifolium, or Oregon-grape. Please correct me if you know better.  It is native to North America, but seems quite content in the UK. The flowers give way to blue berries, eaten by birds. Plateau Indian tribes used Oregon-grape to treat dyspepsia, and the juice of the berries can apparently be fermented to make wine. The blue berries were also used to make dyes.

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