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shrub

Compact Oregon Grape

Mahonia aquifolium 'Compactum'

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Compact Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium 'Compactum') at Snavely's Garden Corner

Compact Oregon Grape foliage

Compact Oregon Grape foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a

Other Names:  Oregon Grape Holly

Description:

A compact, mounded shrub with leathery, sharp holly-shaped leaves; showy yellow flowers in spring and very attractive purple grape-like fruit in late summer; somewhat fussy, needs moist acid soils, some shade and protection from winter winds

Ornamental Features

Compact Oregon Grape is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent blue berries from mid summer to early fall. It features showy racemes of fragrant yellow flowers hanging below the branches in early spring. It has dark green foliage which emerges burgundy in spring. The spiny pinnately compound leaves turn an outstanding coppery-bronze in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Compact Oregon Grape is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Compact Oregon Grape is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Compact Oregon Grape will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Garden  Groundcover 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Fall Color  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features

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