- Type Evergreen shrub
- Life Span Perennial
- USDA Zones 5-9
- Light Partial shade
- Water Moist soil
- Location Protect from wind
- Design Tip Harbinger of spring
- Other Uses Privacy hedge
- Peak Season Year-round
Mahonia: A Field Guide
Even before snowdrops and crocuses bloom, there is a showier harbinger of spring: the fragrant, bright yellow flowers of the evergreen shrub Mahonia.
Our favorite Mahonia? There are so many we like. For instance, Mahonia lomariifolia is as statuesque as a palm or tree fern and can be trained against a wall. Petite Mahonia confusa grows to a well-behaved height of 5 feet at maturity
Of the dozens of species in the Mahonia family, M. aquifolium is a statuesque presence in a garden—and one of the few shade plants to provide full four-season interest: spring flowers, clusters of summer berries, fall color, and reliably green winter foliage. M. aquifolium has serrated, holly-like leaves to deter deer; the shrub is a useful barrier to intruders when planted as a hedge. See Gardening 101: Mahonia for more on this winter-blooming workhorse.
For more ways to use Mahonia in a landscape design, see 5 Favorites: Add Color to the Winter Garden.