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Regional Picks: Plant It And Forget It – Northwest

Fine Gardening – Issue 179

1. Creeping Oregon Grape

Name: Mahonia repens

Zones: 5-9

Size: 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Conditions:Full sun to full shade; well-drained soil

When it comes to natives, Oregon grape is ubiquitous. Though it may seem commonplace, creeping Oregon grape is anything but ordinary. Virtually maintenance-free and remarkably tough, it is a go-to solution for many impossible gardening situations: deer, drought, root competition, sun, shade–you name it. This evergreen shrub has more rounded and less intensely barbed leaflets than other Oregon grapes. Coppery new growth tops rich, velvety green foliage, with plum tones rounding out its winter appearance. Clear yellow flowers in late winter to early spring are a welcome food source for native pollinators, and birds relish the blue berries that follow in late summer.


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