Mahonia japonica 'Bealei'
Leatherleaf Mahonia, also know as Oregon Grape Holly, is a striking and unique evergreen shrub that works well in shady conditions and provides year-round interest in the garden. Mahonia is easily recognized with it's elongated steps and flat, pointed leaf shape. It also produces attractive, fragrant yellow blooms that are followed by light blue and black grape-like fruit clusters and has a red & burgundy leaf color in the fall.
The unique form and spine like branching on the Mahonia give the shrub a slightly architectural feel. The pointed leaves however will usually require Mahonia to be planted in the back of a garden bed away from foot traffic. This characteristic can also be used as a benefit when using Mahonia as a border or barrier plant in the garden design.
Another new and attractive variety of the plant is Soft Caress Mahonia. This variety offers a much more delicate, almost fern-like texture with narrow and soft leaves. It also provides yellow blooms and is a good selection to mix into shady areas in the garden.
Pros: Unique appearance, leaf texture, blooms, barrier plant, shade plant, year round interest
Cons: Irregular shape, pointed leaves
Size: 5-8' tall x 4-5' wide
Light: Shade/Light Shade
Bloom Color: Yellow & Light blue
Fall Color: Red, burgundy
Water Needs: Low-Normal
Similar Plants: Holly Fern, Oakleaf Hydrangea