Evergreen shrub from a rhizome; stems branched, erect, 10-60 cm tall, leafy; bark and wood yellowish.
Evergreen, hollylike, turning reddish in the fall, alternate, pinnate; leaflets 9-19, palmately nerved, with spiny teeth.
Inflorescence of clustered racemes up to 20 cm long; flowers yellow, the segments in 6's.
Clustered berries 8-11 mm in diameter, blue, glaucous, with a few large seeds, edible.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Present from Spring to Summer
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|CDF(196), CWH(823), ESSF(5), ICH(45), IDF(81), MS(2), PP(3), SBS(14)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Berberis nervosa Pursh
Berberis nervosa var. mendocinensis J.B. Roof
Mahonia nervosa var. mendocinensis (J.B. Roof) J.B. Roof
Odostemon nervosus (Pursh) Rydb.
Taxonomic Key to Mahonia
1. Leaflets usually 9-19, palmately nerved.....................................M. nervosa
1. Leaflets usually 3-11, pinnately nerved
2. Leaves more than twice as long as broad, mostly with 12-29 prominent spiny teeth; leaflets 5-11; plants 0.5-4.5 m tall.......................M. aquifolium
2. Leaves less than twice as long as broad, with 15-43 inconspicuous, spiny teeth; leaflets 3-7; plant 0.1--.6 m tall.........................M. repens