Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium – Oregon grape

We have two native Oregon grapes in the garden; you’ll see the lower one (M. nervosa) later on mixed in with some salal. Both produce nice crops of blue-black fruits if the fragrant yellow flowers earlier were pollinated. Although edible fresh off the plant, they taste somewhat acidic and are best used in making jam, especially if you need some extra pectin which they have in spades. The Tall Oregon Grape (M. aquifolium) does best in sunlight whereas the Low/Cascades Oregon Grape (M. nervosa) is happier in shaded spots – see association with salal.