Mahonia (Mahonia aquifolium) - leaves close up - October 2017
These interesting shrubs are often found in parks and green spaces. Mahonia are evergreen shrubs with leathery, pinnate leaves which are often spine-toothed, and clustered racemes of sometimes fragrant yellow flowers, sometimes followed by black or purple berries. It is a genus of about 70 species of evergreen shrubs in the family Berberidaceae, native to eastern Asia, the Himalaya, North America, and Central America. Several species are popular garden shrubs, grown for their ornamental, often spiny, evergreen foliage, yellow flowers in autumn, winter and early spring, and blue-black berries. The flowers are borne in terminal clusters or spreading racemes, and may be among the earliest flowers to appear in the growing season. The berries are edible, and rich in vitamin C, though with a very sharp flavor. Although edible, the plants contain berberine, a compound found in many Berberis and Mahonia species, which can cause vomiting, lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate, lethargy, and other ill effects when consumed in large quantities. Oregon Grape - (Berberis aquifolium or Mahonia aquifolium), became the Oregon State Flower on July 18, 1892. Oregon grape flowers are natives of North America === Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots Order: Ranunculales Family: Berberidaceae Genus: Mahonia
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