Fruit - raw or cooked. We have seen no reports of edibility for this species, but it is certainly not poisonous. The fruit is likely to have an acid flavour and be suitable for making jams. jellies etc. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter
A yellow dye is obtained from the inner bark of the stem and roots
. It is green
Dark green, violet and dark blue-purple dyes are obtained from the fruit.
A green dye is obtained from the leaves.
This species forms suckers freely and should make a good dense ground cover in a sunny position
A decoction of the roots is used as a blood tonic and as a treatment for coughs
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 cold frame
. 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 a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer.
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 pumila. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
An easily grown plant, it thrives in any good well-drained garden soil
, preferring one on the dryish side. Prefers a sunny position
, but also succeeds in the light shade of trees[K].
This species is hardy to about -15°c if growing in a sheltered position.
Established plants sucker freely and form quite dense thickets.
Resistant to honey fungus
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Mahonia pumila. 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 pumila.
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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? [Flora of N. America] ()