Evergreen shrub from a rhizome; stems branched, more or less procumbent, widely stoloniferous, 15-100 cm tall; bark and wood yellowish.
Evergreen, hollylike, alternate, pinnate; leaflets 3-7, pinnately nerved, less than twice as long as broad, with 15-43 inconspicuous spiny teeth.
Inflorescence of clustered racemes 3-8 cm long; flowers yellow, the segments in 6's.
Clustered berries 8-14 mm in diameter, blue, glaucous, with a few large seeds, edible.
Present from Summer to Fall
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
|AT(5), CWH(1), ESSF(38), ICH(14), IDF(43), MS(74), PP(8), SBS(40)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Berberis amplectens (Eastw.) L.C. Wheeler
Berberis aquifolium var. repens (Lindl.) Scoggan
Berberis pumila Greene
Berberis repens Lindl.
Berberis sonnei (Abrams) McMinn
Mahonia amplectens Eastw.
Mahonia pumila (Greene) Fedde
Mahonia sonnei Abrams
Odostemon pumilus (Greene) A. Heller
Odostemon repens (Lindl.) Cockerell
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