This superb evergreen shrub is the State flower of
Hardy in USDA zones 5-10, it is at home
along the Pacific coast from BC to northern California.
Oregon Grape can reach 10' tall, but is usually 5' in gardens.
In spring, large clusters of small golden flowers unfurl from shiny green,
New growth is copper color in
The blue fruits are tart and improve
after frost. They are often gathered for jelly or wine. Used to treat a wide
variety of ailments, Oregon Grape species contain the extremely potent alkaloid,
berberine, (also found in goldenseal) which is antiseptic and stimulates the
liver and spleen.
Use this plant for hedges,
borders and drifts.
It flourishes in sun or shade
and is highly drought tolerant: perfect for the northwest.
From Homepage March 20, 2004
beautiful is our Oregon State flower, the Tall Oregon Grape (Mahonia
An evergreen shrub, this Oregon Grape is good looking all year. After
the lovely yellow flower clusters have gone by, true blue berries will
take their place. Birds and small wildlife are attracted to these
berries but they'll usually leave enough for you to admire. The contrast
between the blue fruits and the glossy green foliage is picture perfect.
Wintertime, your Tall Oregon Grape will color it's leaves to bronze,
only to green up again when spring comes round. They grow quickly and make a great fence!
While Tall Oregon Grape grows 5 - 10 feet tall, the Cascade Oregon Grape
is only 2 feet tall. It's leaves are longer than it's tall relative. A
good plant for filling in spaces where you want a hardy, colorful plant
with no care required. The Creeping Oregon Grape is one of our favorite
ground covers. It has the same features as the other two grapes but
grows about 12 - 18" tall. Even grows well where the climate gives hot
summers and cold winters.
From Homepage June 3, 2005
Here's a recipe for a fine jam made from
those Oregon Grapes:
1 quart Oregon Grapes (Mahonia
aquifolia or other Mahonias)
3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into
1 box fruit pectin
7 1/2 cups sugar
1 - 12 oz can frozen concord grape juice
Enough water ready to add to grape, apple
pulps and juice concentrate to make the measurement of 6 cups.
8 - 8oz jars, lids and rims
Take out about 1/4 cup grapes and a heaping
tablespoon of small apple pieces and set aside. Then follow the cooking
steps for grape jam inside the pectin package adding the set-aside
fruits to the jars just before sealing. If you don't have enough wild
Oregon Grapes at one time, you can freeze them until you have enough.
This recipe is from a woman in Coquille,
Oregon, which is along the southern Oregon Coast. Her name is Rachel
Ordway Smith. She has other recipes using fruits from northwest native
plants on her web site at www.artsdesire.org/.
From Homepage July 21, 2006
In 1899, the state legislature designated, by
resolution, the Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) as the Oregon state
flower. According to the Oregon Blue Book:
"A low growing plant, the Oregon Grape is
native to much of the Pacific coast and is found sparsely east of the
Cascades. Its year-round foliage of pinnated, waxy green leaves
resembles holly. The plant bears dainty yellow flowers in early summer
and a dark blue berry that ripens late in the fall. The fruit can be
used in cooking."
|Did you know......
Besides a state flower, Oregon
A state animal (the
American Beaver [castor canadensis], named by the
A state beverage (milk,
selected in 1997)
A state bird (the Western
Meadowlark [Sturnella neglecta], chosen in 1927 by a
poll taken among Oregon's school children sponsored
by the Oregon Audubon Society)
A state dance (the square
dance, declared by legislature in 1977)
A state fish (the Chinook
salmon [Oncorhynchus tshawytscha], declared by
legislature in 1961)
A Father of Oregon
(bestowed on Dr. John McLoughlin by legislature in
A state flag which does
not have a name but was adopted in 1925
A state fossil (the
Metasequoia or Dawn Redwood, designated by
resolution in 2005 by the legislature)
A state fruit (the pear [Pyrus
communis], named by the 2005 legislature)
A state gemstone (the
Oregon sunstone, named by resolution by 1987
A state insect (the
Oregon Swallowtail [Papilio oregonius], designated
by the 1979 legislature)
A Mother of Oregon
(Tabitha Moffat Brown, honored by the 1987
A state motto ("She flies
with her own wings," adopted by the 1987
A state mushroom (the
Pacific golden chanterelle [Cantharellus formosus],
recognized by the 1999 legislature)
A state nut (the hazelnut
[Corylus avellana], named by the 1989 legislature)
A state rock (the
Thunder-egg [geode], named by the 1965 legislature)
A state seashell (the
Oregon hairy triton [Fusitriton oregonensis),
designated by legislature in 1991. The shell was
named by a conchologist named Redfield)
A state seal (no nickname
for this one either. It was created by Harvey
Gordon, amended by a committee of 3 which had been
named by the Constitutional Convention on September
17, 1857, and became official in 1859)
A state song (Oregon My
Oregon, written in 1920 by J.A. Buchanan and Henry
B. Murtagh, became the state song in 1927)
A state tree (the
Douglas-fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii], designated in
From Homepage November 18, 2004
Oregon's state flower is
the versatile evergreen Tall Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium). Easy to
grow in so many climates, the beautiful foliage, yellow flowers and
dusky blue edible berries give continuously changing beauty.
The leaves have sharp
points, perfect for planting under a bedroom window or as a hedge to
discourage unwanted visitors.
Brighten a shady corner
with the Tall Oregon Grape in the background, Cascade Oregon Grape in
the middle and Creeping Oregon Grape groundcover. Wow!