Mahonia repens

creeping Oregon grape

creeping hollygrape

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Spiny leaves – reminiscent of holly foliage – of blue to deep green adorn this stoloniferous shrublet which grows to about 12 inches tall and spreads slowly forming a tight groundcover. In late winter to early spring tight clusters of bright canary yellow flowers burst forth to welcome garden pollinators. By late summer to early fall dark blue-purple berries may form and, while sour, are edible after one or two heavy frosts and can be made into jelly when ripe. The evergreen foliage may turn purplish in winter.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: yellow

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to deep shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once etsbalished

Seasonal Interest: spiny leaves of blue to deep green year-round and clusters of golden yellow flowers in spring

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: gold, silver, white, variegated

Great Color Partners: dark green, chartreuse, blue

Culture Notes
This low growing mahonia is tough. It will grow well in full sun to deep shade. In full sun the foliage will turn an attractive plum color. It prefers a moist to well-drained soil, but will tolerate sand and clay. Once established it is drought tolerant, although plants in full sun can yellow if kept excessively dry. Occasional watering during dry weather will help plants in sun to maintain a rich green foliage color. Little pruning is necessary other than the removal of dead or broken limbs.