Oregon Grape Berberis aquifolium

Tall Oregon Grape (Berberis aquifolium) is the state flower of Oregon. It is also known by its former genus name Mahonia. Its brilliant yellow blooms in spring serve as a valuable nectar source for bees and other insect pollinators. Shiny and spiny evergreen leaves provide year-round cover for wildlife. Oregon Grape is adaptable to sun or shade, but does best in partial shade. It is resistant to summer droughts and tolerates poor, acidic soils.

Its flowers are followed in fall by attractive, edible blue fruit, hence the name Oregon Grape. The small fruits, which are quite tart and contain large seeds, were used in small quantities in the traditional diets of indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest, sometimes mixed with salal.