Fruit - raw or cooked. An acid flavour but the fruit is rather nice raw, especially when added to muesli or porridge[K]. Unfortunately, there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds[K]. The fruit ripens in early spring and good crops have often been seen on plants growing in sheltered positions[K]. The fruit is produced in large clusters and so is easy to harvest[K].
There are no material uses listed for Mahonia x media.
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 - this is a hybrid species and seed will not come true, though some interesting plants might be produced. The seed is 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.
Stems will often root if they are stuck in the ground with most of their leaves removed
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Mahonia x media. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
An easily grown shrub, it thrives in any good garden soil including heavy clays. Prefers a semi-shaded woodland position in a damp, slightly acid to neutral humus-rich soil. Survives under very heavy tree shade.
The fully dormant plant is hardy to about -15°c, though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts.
Commonly grown as an ornamental plant, there are several named varieties. This plant often produces a good crop of fruit in April and May. It seems that a sheltered position helps to ensure a good crop, as does growing more than one cultivar together and perhaps also one or both of the parents (M. bealei and M. japonica)[K]. The cultivars 'Charity' and 'Lionel Fortescue' have both been seen on a number of occasions with heavy crops[K].
The flowers are very sweetly scented
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Mahonia x media. 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 x media.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Mahonia x media
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
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