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Products > Mahonia lomariifolia
Mahonia lomariifolia - Chinese Holly

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Berberidaceae (Barberries)
Origin: Burma (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [M.oiwakensis lomariifolia, Berberis lomariifolia]
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Mahonia lomariifolia (Chinese Holly) - An upright evergreen shrub with vertical unbranched cane-like stems reaching to 6-10+ feet tall by about 5 feet wide with 1 to 2 foot long pinnately divided leaves of leathery 1 to 3 inch long sharply toothed leaflets that are dark green on the upper surface and lighter below. The lightly scented yellow flowers are in 3 to 8 inch long dense terminal clusters appear in late fall through early spring, and are then followed by decorative powdery blue berries, which are favored by birds. Plant in coastal sun or in shade best color when shaded from hot afternoon sun and given regular to occasional irrigation. Hardy to about 10 degrees F. This plant is native to the region between Yunnan, Sichuan, northern Burma and east to Taiwan where it grows in broad-leaved forests, thickets, forest margins and slopes between 2000 and 12,000 feet. The name of the genus was coined by the English botanist Thomas Nuttall, who lived and botanized in America much of the first half of the 19th century, to honor Philadelphia horticulturist Bernard McMahon (1775-1816) who introduced the type plant, Mahonia aquifolium (now a Berberis species) from material collected by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, a collection which McMahon curated. The specific epithet comes from the combination of the Latin word 'folium', meaning "leaf" and Lomaria, a name for a genus of ferns (now Blechnum) in reference to this plants resemblance to this fern. This species is not treated as a subspecies of Mahonia oiwakensis and some continue to list is as a Berberis lomariifolia. This plant was awarded the Royal Horticultural Societies prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993. We have grown this plant since 1981.  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in the nursery, in the nursery's garden, and in other gardens where it has been observed. We also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing  Mahonia [Berberis] lomariifolia.