A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Plant of the Week: Mahonia eurybracteata (Grape Holly species)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter.

This small, evergreen shrub is blooming now in our Palm House, the middle section of the Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory.plant-and-setting

Native to western China, Mahonia eurybracteata has delicate, narrow leaves and spikes of soft-yellow flowers.close-up

It is one of the many species of grape-holly that are found in the wild in various parts of the world, including western North America, Central America and eastern Asia. All are evergreen and most have tough, glossy foliage, which can look very much like that of a holly.

Flowering occurs in most species in the late fall or winter and is followed by small, blue berries. The fruits of the Oregon grape-holly (Mahonia aquifolium) look very similar to grapes and the foliage is particularly holly-like.

The genus name honors the American horticulturist Bernard McMahon who assisted in the handling of plant specimens received from the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804‒06).

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