Mahonia repens Creeping mahoniaThis low growing suckering evergreen shrub is native to northwest America from British Columbia and Alberta to Arizona and New Mexico and west to California. The shiny blue-green leaves are up to ten inches long and pinnately compound usually consisting of five holly-like leaflets that are very spiny and have small protrubances on their underside. In cold weather the leaves turn purplish or bronze. The fragrant yellow flowers are produced in spring on three inch long racemes and give way to clusters of small purple berries in late summer. Plants sucker freely and can produce a substantial clump. They grow about eight to twenty four inches high, make an excellent ground cover, and are especially useful for erosion control. Creeping mahonia hybridizes easily with Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) so many intermediate plants may arise where both plants are present.

Type: Flowering evergreen shrub

Outstanding Features: Foliage, flowers

Form: Low frowing, climp-forming

Growth Rate: Moderate

Bloom: Fragrant yellow flowers are produced in 1-3″ racemes i spring followed by purple berries in late summer.

Size: 18-24″ H x 3-4′ W

Light: Full sun to partial shade but needs protection from drying winds in winter.

Soil: Average, medium-moist, well-drained, acidic; drought tolerant once established

Hardiness:Zones 5-8

Care:Medium maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to rust, leaf spot, scale, aphids, whiteflies

Propagation: Cuttings, division of rooted suckers

Outstanding Selection: ‘Denver Stain’

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By Karen