Leatherleaf Mahonia

Invasive Species

Leatherleaf Mahonia, Mahonia bealei, is an invasive evergreen shrub that can grow from 5-10 ft. (1.5-3 m) tall.

Leatherleaf Mahonia

Leatherleaf Mahonia

Photo by: Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org

Photo by: Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

  • Foliage – Leaves are pinnately compound, 18 in. (46 cm) long, with 9-13 holly-like leaflets. Leaflets are 2-4 in. (5-10 cm) long and 1-2 in. (2.5-5.1 cm) wide.
  • Flowers – Flowering occurs in late winter and early spring, when fragrant, lemon-yellow flowers develop.
  • Fruit – The fruits are green berries, about 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long, that turn bluish black with a grayish bloom. Fruits hang in grapelike clusters.
  • Ecological Threat – Mahonia bealei is native to China. It has been planted as an ornamental and is now invading woodlands in the southern United States.
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