Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Mahonia repens
creeping Oregon-grape, low Oregon-grape

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia south to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Sagebrush valleys to open forested slopes.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Procumbent, evergreen woody shrub 1-5 dm. tall, widely stoloniferous.


Leaves alternate, pinnate, leathery; leaflets 5-7, oblong to ovate, 3-7 cm. long and 2-5 cm. broad, pinnately nerved from the mid-vein, usually glossy above and dull and glaucous below and covered with minute, rounded projections , with 13-43 inconspicuous, spiny teeth.


Inflorescence of several bracteate racemes 3-6 cm. long; perianth of 5 alternating whorls of 3 members each; outer 3 greenish-yellow, 2-3 mm. long (bracts); next 6 bright yellow, 6-8 mm. long (sepals); inner 6 bright yellow, slightly shorter, bi-lobed, oblong (petals); stamens 6, opposite the petals; filaments with 2 divergent teeth at the tip; style none, stigma sessile.


Berry deep blue, glaucous, globose-ellipsoid, 7-14 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Mahonia repens (Lindl.) G. Don
Publication: Gen. Hist. 1: 118. 1831.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Berberis aquifolium Pursh var. repens (Lindl.) Scoggan [JPM]
Berberis aquilifolium Pursh f. repens (Lindl.) B. Boivin
Berberis nana
Berberis repens Lindl. [FNA3, HC, HC2]
Berberis sonnei (Abrams) McMinn
Mahonia sonnei Abrams
Odostemon repens (Lindl.) Cockerell
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Mahonia repens in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Mahonia repens checklist entry

OregonFlora: Mahonia repens information

E-Flora BC: Mahonia repens atlas page

CalPhotos: Mahonia repens photos

48 photographs:
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