It's not holly but that's what I called the photo. It's a woodland
evergreen that is low-growing, less than 18". Northeast U.S. I'm in
Western NY State. Leaves turn deep red in winter and then green up as it
starts to warm up, hence the green coming on in the leaves close to the
leaf litter, out of the wind. If I remember correctly, it has yellow
flowers, but I may not be remembering that correctly from last year when
I first found it. Each plant typically has just a few gently-arching
branches coming out of the ground. It tends to be clumped together in
places. Woodlands is hardwood and in shade during the summer. Area can
tend towards wet but not standing water.
Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Looks like Oregon Grape to me, though I suppose other things have the same
leaves. You're saying it grows wild in the Northeast? Mahonia repens or
Mahonia aquifolium reach the Northeast as native plants, all the other
north american species are further west or southwest.
-paghat the ratgirl
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After reading more about the plant, I reached the same conclusion. As
I've read more, there seems to be a consensus that the low
sparse-looking shrub (like I have here) and the taller shrubs are the
same plant. The small shrub reproducing via rhizomes and the taller one
using seeds, all-though not exclusively. It is considered the same
plant, just a different phase. You can read about this in the Audubon
wildflowers or shrubs field guide for the Western US.
Thanks for everyone's help.
The photo looks like Mahonia aquafolium, Oregon Grape Holly, which is
not a true holly, but a very nice broad leaved evergreen, with yellow
flowers in spring and clusters of blue berries that look similar to wild
grapes, in fall.
In the Mahonia family, possibly Mahonia repens. Here's a good thumbnail
description to help ID:
Species Height # leaflets Bloom Time Fruit
bealei 6-10' 9 - 13 Feb. - Apr. lt. Blue
aquifolium 3 - 6' 5 - 9 April blue-black
x media 8 - 15' 17 - 21 Nov. - Feb. small blue-black
repens 1 - 1-1/2' 3 - 7 April small, blue-black
Mahonia is a genus not a family, Dizzy Dave.
Many authorities even unite Mahonia with Berberis.
The two genera will actually hybridize if given the opportunity.
Really cannot say exactly which species from the photo provided. Your
"thumbnail descriptions" are worthless.
Thank you to everyone who was able to help me via my worthless thumbnail
descriptions. You all came up with the same genus which significantly
reduced the options for me. I've since checked with Cornell Cooperative
Extension and repens it was.
Michael Dirr has nothing to do with it, peanut head.
So you copied from his book, big deal. You are proof that any clueless idiot
can do that. Next time you steal info, you should cite your source.
Mahonia is a much larger genus with many species, hybrids and cultivars that
Dirr doesn't even list.
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