Fruit - raw or cooked
. An acid flavour but nice, especially when added to porridges or muesli[K]. A subtle tart flavour, it is pleasant to eat raw
. Unfortunately there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds[K]. The fruit is also used to make preserves
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute
A yellow dye is obtained from the inner bark of the stem and roots
. It is green according to another report
An ink is made from the wood.
Dark green, violet and dark blue-purple dyes are obtained from the fruit.
A green dye is obtained from the leaves.
Makes a good hedge.
The wood is a source of tannin
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 trifoliolata. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Unlike most members of the genus, this species requires a dry, perfectly drained position in full sun, a gritty slightly acid soil is best
. It does well in a hot, dry position
. Succeeds in a good garden soil
The form in general cultivation in Britain (M. trifoliolata glauca. I.M.Johnst.) comes from the southern part of its range, it is only hardy on a sunny wall in this country or as a free-standing shrub in the very mildest areas. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts.
A good bee plant.
Resistant to honey fungus
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Mahonia trifoliolata. 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 trifoliolata.
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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? Holliday. I. and Hill. R. A Field Guide to Australian Trees. Frederick Muller Ltd. ISBN 0-85179-627-3 (1974-00-00)
? Ahrendt. Berberis and Mahonia. Journal of the Linnean Society, 57 (1961-00-00)
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? [Flora of N. America] ()