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Plants of the UNF Campus

Mahonia fortunei - Chinese mahonia
Family Berberidaceae


Approximately seventy species of Mahonia are native to Central and North America and Asia. The genus Mahonia is very closely related to the barberries (Berberis.) Stem and floral characters separate the two genera. The compound foliage of this species is very different from the simple leaves of locally cultivated barberry. Chinese mahonia has soft, dark green leaves and attractive yellow flowers in winter. It branches more than some mahonia species, giving it a full, bushy appearance. The small blue-black fruits are seedy but edible. Reportedly, compounds from this plant are being studied for their antibacterial properties.


See this plant on the north sides of buildings 1 and 39.


Medium shrub to about six feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: part shade to full shade

Water: moderately drought tolerant when established, may benefit from irrigation during droughts

Soil: adaptable to soils, no special requirements

This is an easy shrub for a shady spot in a northeast Florida garden. It is very adaptable except to wet soils.

Mahonia fortunei