Buckland Mahonia Mahonia × media 'Buckland'
The Mahonia × media 'Buckland', commonly known as the Oregon grape, is a visually striking plant that boasts a number of distinctive features. Its foliage is comprised of pinnate leaves, which can sometimes resemble those of holly due to their spiny edges. The leaves typically exhibit a rich, deep green color, adding a lush appearance to the plant's overall aesthetic. One of the most remarkable aspects of the Oregon grape is its flowers. During its blooming period, which generally occurs in the winter season, it produces clusters of vibrant yellow flowers. These blossoms are small and numerous, arranged in erect, narrow racemes that rise grandly above the foliage. The flowering spikes add a burst of brightness to the plant's appearance and often attract various pollinators to the garden. Following the flowering period, the Oregon grape develops dark blue-purple berries that are visually appealing and can attract birds and other wildlife. These berries are small and closely resemble grapes, hence the name Oregon grape. They offer added ornamental value and may also be used in jellies or other recipes by those familiar with their correct preparation and edibility. The Oregon grape is also known for its consistency in maintaining the decorative qualities of its foliage throughout the year. The leaves have a shiny, leathery texture and can provide a stunning backdrop to other plants in a mixed border or garden setting, making this plant a favorite among gardeners seeking year-round interest.
About this plant
Buckland Mahonia, Grape Holly
Mahonia × media 'Buckland'
Color of leaves
10 feet (3 meters)
6 feet (1.8 meters)
- General Benefits
- Aesthetic Appeal: The plant features attractive spiky foliage and bright yellow flowers, adding visual interest to the garden.
- Low Maintenance: Mahonia × media 'Buckland' requires minimal care once established, making it suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
- Winter Interest: It blooms in the late fall and winter, a time when most other plants are dormant, providing color and life to the garden during the colder months.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is quite tolerant of drought, reducing the need for frequent watering.
- Shade Tolerance: The plant can grow in partial shade, making it versatile for planting in various light conditions within a garden or landscape.
- Wildlife Attraction: The flowers provide nectar for pollinators, such as bees, during the winter months when food is scarce for them.
- Evergreen: Being an evergreen, it provides year-round greenery and structure to the garden.
- Erosion Control: The plant's dense growth habit can help stabilize soil on slopes and prevent erosion.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Mahonia × media 'Buckland', commonly known as Oregon grape, can be used in dye production, as the berries produce a purple dye.
- In landscaping, the Oregon grape's dense and spiky foliage can provide an effective barrier or hedge deterring animals and intruders.
- The wood of the Oregon grape plant can be crafted into small tools or handles for its density and fine grain after proper treatment.
- Fermenting the berries of the Oregon grape plant can yield a home-made wine or vinegar with a unique flavor.
- The flowers of the Oregon grape can be used in decorative arrangements, both for their aesthetic appeal and longer-lasting qualities compared to other blooms.
- As a natural fabric print, the leaves of Oregon grape can be used to create patterns on cloth through a hammering technique that transfers the leaf's shape and veins.
- The Oregon grape plant might be utilized in permaculture designs as part of guild planting for its compatibility with certain trees and shrubs that prefer similar soil conditions.
- The tannins present in the bark and roots of Oregon grape could be extracted for use in natural leather tanning processes.
- Its thorny leaves and dense growth habit make the Oregon grape an ideal candidate for erosion control on slopes.
- Artists might find use in the textural qualities of Oregon grape leaves and stems for eco-printing on sustainable materials.
- Feng Shui
The Mahonia is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Mahonia is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Resilience: Mahonia x media 'Buckland', commonly known as Leatherleaf Mahonia, is known for its ability to thrive in a variety of conditions, symbolizing the strength to persist and adapt.
- Protection: With its spiny leaves, Leatherleaf Mahonia is often considered a symbol of protection, acting as a natural barrier against unwanted entities.
- Vibrancy: The bright yellow flowers of Leatherleaf Mahonia represent vibrancy and positivity, bringing a splash of cheerfulness to dull surroundings.
- Healing: In some traditions, Mahonia is associated with healing due to its medicinal properties, symbolizing the ability to recover and mend.
The Oregon grape, or Mahonia × media 'Buckland', prefers consistently moist soil but does not fare well with water-logging. Water the plant deeply once a week, ensuring that the soil around the roots receives about 1-2 gallons, depending on the size and maturity of the plant. During the hotter and drier months, you may need to water twice a week. Reduce watering in the winter when the plant is dormant. It's crucial to avoid letting the plant dry out completely but also to prevent overwatering that could lead to root rot.
The Oregon grape thrives best in partial shade, making it ideal for a spot that receives filtered sunlight or light dappled shade. A location beneath tall trees or on the north or east side of a building is optimal, as it would protect the plant from the intense afternoon sun. It can tolerate full sun in cooler climates but must be sheltered from the harsh sun in warmer regions.
The Oregon grape is a hardy plant that can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from as low as 0°F to about 90°F. However, the ideal temperature range for promoting optimal growth is between 60°F and 75°F. Prolonged exposure to temperatures below the minimum can cause damage, so provide protection during extreme cold.
Prune the Oregon grape to maintain its shape, remove dead or diseased wood, and to encourage new growth. The best time to prune is late winter or early spring before the new growth starts. An annual pruning, by thinning out crowded branches and cutting back overgrown ones, will ensure the plant remains healthy and attractive.
The Oregon Grape 'Buckland' thrives in well-draining, fertile soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH level, around 5.5 to 7.0. A soil mix with peat, compost, and a portion of perlite or sand to improve drainage will be most beneficial for this evergreen shrub's growth.
The Oregon Grape 'Buckland' should ideally be repotted every 3-5 years or when it outgrows its current container. It's best to repot in spring just before the growth season begins, using fresh potting soil that matches the required conditions.
- Humidity & Misting
Oregon Grape 'Buckland' prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable to different ambient conditions. To ensure optimal growth, aim to maintain a relative humidity level of around 40-60%.
- Suitable locations
Keep Oregon Grape 'Buckland' in bright, indirect light with cool temperatures.
Plant Oregon Grape 'Buckland' in partial shade with shelter from strong winds.
- Life cycle
The life of Mahonia × media 'Buckland', commonly known as Buckland's Mahonia, begins with germination, where the seedlings develop a root system and shoots that emerge from the soil. Following germination, the seedlings grow into juvenile plants, characterized by increased leaf production and the development of a sturdy stem structure. As it matures, Buckland's Mahonia enters the vegetative stage, where it continues to grow and produce the compound, pinnate leaves characteristic of the genus Mahonia. The adult stage is marked by the onset of the flowering period, typically during late autumn to early winter, with bright yellow, fragrant flowers arranged in dense racemes. After pollination, these flowers develop into dark blue-purple berries which, when ripe, may be dispersed by birds or other animals, allowing the cycle to begin anew with seed germination. Throughout its life, Buckland's Mahonia may also spread vegetatively through underground rhizomes, thereby expanding its presence in the garden or landscape without seeding.
The most popular method of propagation for Mahonia × media 'Buckland', commonly known as Buckland Mahonia or Grape Holly, is through softwood cuttings. This is typically done during late spring or early summer when the plant's new growth is just hardening but still flexible. Cuttings should be made from healthy, non-flowering shoots, ideally about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) long. The cut end is often dipped in a rooting hormone to encourage root development and then planted in a mix of sand and peat or a well-draining potting mix. The cuttings need to be kept in a warm, humid environment with indirect sunlight to ensure successful rooting, which usually takes several weeks. Once rooted, the young plants are gradually acclimatized to less humid conditions before being planted out in the garden.