Mahonia aquifolium

Common Names: Oregon grape
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Barberry family

It is an evergreen shrub growing to 1 m tall by 1.5 m wide, with pinnate leaves consisting of spiny leaflets. The leaves very much resemble holly. Produces dense clusters of yellow flowers, followed by dark bluish-black berries.

Blooms early spring.

Edible Notes: The small purplish-black fruits, which are quite tart and contain large seeds, are included in smaller quantities in the traditional diets of Pacific Northwest aboriginal peoples, mixed with Salal or another sweeter fruit. Today they are sometimes used to make jelly, alone or mixed with salal. Oregon grape juice can be fermented to make wine, similar to European barberry wine folk traditions, although it requires an unusually high amount of sugar.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings