Fruit - raw or cooked
. It is usually cooked
. An acid flavour but it is rather nice raw, especially when added to muesli or porridge[K]. Unfortunately, there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds[K]. A beverage has been made from the fruit
. The ovoid fruit is about 15mm long
A yellow dye has been obtained from the roots
A purple dye has been obtained from the fruit
The plant has been used as an aid for the gums
The roots are bitter tonic, hepatic and laxative. An infusion has been used to promote digestion.
Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Mahonia species, has marked antibacterial effects
and is used as a bitter tonic
. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery
. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine
. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity
. The root and root bark are best harvested in the autumn
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse
. It usually germinates in the spring[K]. 'Green' seed (harvested when the embryo has fully developed but before the seed case has dried) should be sown as soon as it is harvested and germinates within 6 weeks[K]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in late winter or spring. 3 weeks cold stratification will improve its germination, which should take place in 3 - 6 months at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their next winter.
Division of suckers in spring. Whilst they can be placed direct into their permanent positions, better results are achieved if they are potted up and placed in a frame until established.
Leaf cuttings in the autumn.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Mahonia fremontii. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Unlike most members of this genus, this species requires a dry, perfectly drained position in full sun, a gritty slightly acid soil is best
. It grows best on a sunny south facing wall in Britain
and does well in a hot, dry position
. It requires a position sheltered from strong or cold winds
Plants are only hardy in the milder areas of the country, tolerating temperatures down to about -10°c. Plants are slow-growing.
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.
The flowers are refreshingly fragrant.
Some named forms have been developed for their ornamental value.
This species is often confused with M. trifoliolata, which differs in only ever having 3 leaflets per leaf
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Mahonia fremontii. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Mahonia fremontii.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
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? Munz. A California Flora. University of California Press (1959-00-00)
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