“Compact Oregon grape holly, an upright evergreen shrub, is native to the area from British Colombia south to northern California and not a true holly but more closely related to barberries. The short stems are rarely branched and arise directly from underground, running stems. The leaves are pinnate or feather-like and attach directly to the stem. Leaflets are glossy, leathery, stiff, ovate, and have several sharp spines. The color is deep, dark green turning red to purple in the winter. Showy, yellow flowers are small, held in dense, un-branched stalks at the ends of the branches and appear in the spring. Dark blue-black berries follow the flowers and resemble clusters of grapes, giving the plant its common name.
Grape holly is a shade loving plant, but will grow in sunnier conditions is soil is moist. The soil should be cool, fertile, but well-drained and on the acid side. However, it will tolerate drought and poor conditions once established. Oregon grape holly is damaged by cold, drying winds. Prune by removing stems at ground level, though it will tolerate shearing when used in hedges. This compact form is very slow growing and has a dwarf habit.
Mahonia aquifolium has become naturalized in some areas outside its native range such as Australia and is considered and invasive species. Use Oregon grape holly in masses for foundation plantings, woodland interfaces, hedges or in containers.”
Compact Oregon Grape