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Mahonia japonica
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

Japanese mahonia

M. japonica is an erect medium-sized evergreen shrub with large, spined, leathery pinnate leaves and small, fragrant light yellow flowers in spreading or drooping sprays from late autumn to early spring, followed by blue-black berries

Synonyms
Mahonia tikushiensis

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green Black Blue
Summer Green
Autumn Yellow Green
Winter Yellow Green Black Blue
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Berberidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Mahonia are evergreen shrubs with leathery, pinnate leaves which are often spine-toothed, and clustered racemes of sometimes fragrant yellow flowers, sometimes followed by black or purple berries

Name status

Correct

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained or moist but well-drained soil in shade or partial shade. Good for a woodland setting

Propagation

Propagate by seed and semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Banks and slopes
Pruning

Pruning group 8

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

A rust and powdery mildews may be a problem

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