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Cascades Mahonia, Dull Oregon-Grape, Longleaf Mahonia, Cascade Barberry

Mahonia nervosa

Family: Berberidaceae (bear-ber-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mahonia (ma-HO-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: nervosa (ner-VO-suh) (Info)
Synonym:Berberis nervosa
Synonym:Berberis nervosa var. mendocinensis
Synonym:Mahonia nervosa var. mendocinensis
Synonym:Odostemon nervosus




Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer




Provides winter interest

This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Francisco, California

Eugene, Oregon

Grants Pass, Oregon

Sherwood, Oregon

Cordova, Tennessee

Alpine, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 22, 2012, MulchingMan from Eugene, OR wrote:

This is the shorter cousin of the "tall" Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium). Unlike Mahonia aquifolium, Mahonia nervosa DOES NOT do well in full sun (or partial afternoon sun). I would not recommend planting these in a spot where they get more than 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. I planted one in a spot that received partial afternoon sun and it turned completely brown in about a month.

I planted a few of these near the base of my black walnut, where they're shaded for most of the day (and the juglone from the walnut doesn't seem to bother them). They appear to be doing OK, but I have yet to see any flowers or fruit. They're also relatively young, so perhaps I just need to be a little more patient.


On Apr 3, 2012, jackidee from Sherwood, OR wrote:

This is native in my area, though seldom offered for sale. I have grown it in dry shade with good drainage and in wetter woodland-type conditions, looking great in both situations. It doesn't get tall or need pruning, and for me at least does not get leaf spots as the taller mahonia aquifolium does in my wet climate.


On Aug 25, 2008, laura10801 from Fairfield County, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:

The shrub just withered on me over several weeks after I planted it. I chose it because it supposedly will grow anywhere without being invasive. Definitely not invasive, it isn't even in my garden anymore. I don't know what I did wrong, I fertilized it, watered it, treated it like I treat my azaleas, which are thriving. :(


On Jan 1, 2006, growin from Beautiful, BC (Zone 8b) wrote:

Westcoast native that tolerates dry conditions, grows well as a ground-cover and its leaves turn a nice red in winter. One of the few plants that grows well in dry shade. Fruit can be used to make crumble/pie.