Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Hardy Plants for Waterwise Landscapes

Mahonia repens
Creeping mahonia

Mahonia repens (V.I. Lohr)

Plant form

Mounding, spreading, broadleaf, evergreen groundcover.


Plant grows about 1-3 feet tall and slowly spreads by creeping underground.


Small, bright yellow flowers in clusters appear in spring. They are fragrant.

Leaves and stems

Leaves are dull green or bluish green and have 3 to 7 leaflets. The edges of the leaves have spines. The leaves remain on the plant throughout the year, developing burgundy overtones in the fall.


Flowers are followed in early summer by clusters of blue fruit, shaped like small clumps of grapes.

Native area

Western North America; native in Washington state.

Water use


Culture and maintenance

Easy to grow. Grows best in well-drained soils. Does not require routine maintenance.


Sun or shade.


USDA Zone 4.


Also listed as Berberis repens.
Mahonia repens (V.I. Lohr)


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