Mahonia aquifolium – Oregon Grape (western North America)
Habit: Small shrub with many shoots but few branches, domed, 0.8-1.2 (2) m tall and wide, some runners, gradually like a thicket, slow-growing.
Flowers: Terminal, golden yellow racemes, April (May), pungent.
Fruits: Glaucous blue, black, juicy berries from August on, sour, not poisonous.
Leaves: Evergreen, pinnate, 10-20 cm long, slightly thorny on the edge, initially pale green, later shiny dark green, varying; bronze in winter sun.
Roots: Cordate, sensitive to drought and soil compaction, tolerate root pressure from larger trees.
Demands: Sun only with high humidity and moist soil, otherwise light shade to shade; sensitive to heat and drought, tolerant of urban pollution, sensitive to wind.
Soil: Moderately dry to fresh, on all acidic to neutral garden soil, tolerates slightly alkaline substrates.
Note: Untidy parts can be cut radically.
Hardiness: Zone 5a