Oregon Grape Holly

Mahonia aquifolium


Other Names:
Oregon Grape, Oregon Hollygrape, Holly-leaved Barberry, Holly-leaf Oregon-grape

Oregon Grape Holly is an evergreen shrub native to Western North America. It does not have a known range in Virginia. It is commonly used as an ornamental plant, and the Oregon Grape Holly at Monticello Park probably spread from a nearby yard. It was designated as the state flower of Oregon in 1899, but it is not related to either hollies or grapes. The leaves have sharp edges and resemble holly leaves; the scientific species name aquifolium means "sharp-leafed". The berries are purplish-black, resembling small grapes, and its small flowers are yellow. Extracts from the Oregon Grape Holly have been used in antibiotics, as an anti-inflammatory drug, and as an antifungal agent, as well as by Native Americans in traditional medicines. It has also been used in experiments as a possible treatment for diabetes, intestinal problems, congestive heart failure, and some cancers.

Identification Tools

NC State Extension Ohio State University Pocket Gardener


North America Unknown Range in Virginia

American Holly
Close-up of flowering Oregon Grape Holly

American Holly
Flowering Oregon Grape Holly

American Holly
Flowering Oregon Grape Holly

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