Oregon grape may seem too common to mention but it has so many merits that it is a go to plant for many situations in the Rogue Valley. Being a native plant, Mahonias can take our winter wet and summer dry and can be very drought tolerant once established. Their thick leathery leaves and spiny edges also make them unpalatable to deer. Most species of Oregon Grape are evergreen but still turn a rainbow of colors in the fall and winter giving them more interest than the average evergreen shrub. The spikes of cheerful yellow flowers emerge early in spring and turn to blue-black fruit that are edible but more appealing to birds than humans. Most varieties grow by underground runners and make a nice colony so best to give them room to shine.
The ones we use the most in the Rogue Valley are: