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Mahonia aquifolium



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Mahonia aquifolium
Oregon grapeholly

Alternate and pinnately compound, the highly glossy foliage is composed of 5-9 ovate leaflets, each 1-2" long and with spiny dentate margins. The leaflets occur opposite one another on the rachis and have approximately 6 (4-12) spines per side. In the spring, the new leaves emerge reddish bronze in color. In very mild climates, the leaves remain dark green all winter, but in the Midwest, the leaves turn purple in color and possibly brown if the temperatures are cold enough. Even though the leaves turn purple in winter, they remain glossy. The purple leaves turn back to green in spring whereas the brown ones drop off as new ones emerge. The presence of brown leaves in the winter can be very unsightly.

 
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