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Mahonia repens (Lindl.) G. Don

Oregon grape, creeping barberry, creeping Oregon-grape

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassMagnoliidaeIncludes magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, and many others
OrderRanunculalesBasal (evolved earlier) eudicots, also called “true dicots”
FamilyBerberidaceaeBarberry family
GenusMahoniaAfter the Irish-born horticulturist Bernard McMahon (sometimes spelled M’Mahon) (1775-1816), described as a botanist and seedsman who came to the U.S. in 1796 and was a nurseryman in Philadelphia
SpeciesrepensHaving creeping and rooting stems

About plant names...

Creeping barberry is a low, creeping plant waxy-looking blue berries. It is a North American native.

Identification: The leaves are sharp-edged and shiny, sometimes tinged with red or purple as well as dark green, 2-3″ (5-7.6 cm) long. They are often mistaken for holly leaves. The berries are oval-shaped, sharply tapered at the ends, about ⅜″ (9.5 mm) long, with a waxy or powdery-looking coating. Flowers are yellow.

Online References:

Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah

Montana Plant Life

Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness


Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


The Missouri Botanical Garden

in Paghat's Garden

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service

Berberis amplectens (Eastw.) L.C. Wheeler

Berberis aquifolium Pursh var. repens (Lindl.) Scoggan

Berberis pumila Greene

Berberis repens Lindl.

Berberis sonnei (Abrams) McMinn

Mahonia amplectens Eastw.

Mahonia pumila (Greene) Fedde

Mahonia sonnei Abrams

Odostemon pumilus (Greene) A. Heller

Odostemon repens (Lindl.) Cockerell


Mahonia repens description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Mahonia repens (oregon grape, creeping barberry, creeping Oregon-grape)

9/1/2007 · Mt. St. Helens, Wash­ington ID is uncertain

Mahonia repens (oregon grape, creeping barberry, creeping Oregon-grape)

5/22/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Mass­a­chu­setts · ≈ 4 × 3′ (133 × 88 cm)

Range: Zones 5-8:

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