Oregon grape Mahonia × wagneri 'Undulata'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Oregon grape 'Undulata'


Mahonia × wagneri 'Undulata', commonly known as the Pinnate Mahonia, is a visually striking plant with a distinctive appearance characterized by its unique foliage and flowers. The leaves of this plant are particularly noteworthy; they are pinnate, meaning they have multiple leaflets arranged on either side of a central stem, giving them a feather-like appearance. Each leaflet is shaped with undulating edges, which gives the 'Undulata' its name, suggesting a wavy or rippled texture. The overall look of the leaflets is leathery and glossy, exhibiting a deep green hue that can add a touch of elegance to the plant's surroundings. When the Pinnate Mahonia blooms, it does so with an eye-catching display of yellow flowers. These flowers are small but abundant, grouped together in upright clusters known as racemes, which emerge proudly above the foliage during the blooming season. Following the floral display, the plant often produces dark blue-purple berries, which are also arranged in dense clusters. These berries not only contribute to the ornamental appeal of the plant but can also attract birds and wildlife to the garden. The combination of the decorative leaves, the vivid yellow flowers, and the attractive berries makes the Pinnate Mahonia a desirable plant for gardeners looking to create a visually engaging landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Wavy-leaf Mahonia, Oregon Grape.

    • Common names

      Mahonia x wagneri 'Undulata'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Oregon grape, including the Mahonia × wagneri 'Undulata', contains alkaloids such as berberine, which can be harmful if ingested in significant quantities. Though the berries are edible when fully ripe and cooked, consuming large amounts of the berries, leaves, or other parts of the plant can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy due to the toxicity of these compounds. It is important to handle the plant with care and avoid ingesting any part of it, except for the properly processed berries, to prevent potential poisoning.

    • To pets

      Oregon grape, including the Mahonia × wagneri 'Undulata', can be toxic to pets if ingested. The primary toxic compounds are alkaloids including berberine. While birds and wildlife may consume the ripe berries without apparent harm, pets that ingest the leaves, stems, or unripe berries of this plant could experience symptoms of poisoning. These symptoms might include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, and weakness. It is advisable to prevent pets from having access to this plant to avoid the risk of toxicity.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      5 feet (1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      5 feet (1.5 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Foliage: Mahonia × wagneri 'Undulata' has uniquely shaped, glossy evergreen leaves that add texture and year-round interest to gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, this shrub requires minimal care, needing only occasional pruning to maintain shape.
    • Drought Tolerance: It is relatively drought-tolerant, making it suitable for xeriscaping and water-efficient landscapes.
    • Shade Tolerant: This plant thrives in part shade to full shade, which makes it ideal for underplanting and shaded areas where other plants might struggle.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The plant produces yellow flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and its berries can be a food source for birds in winter.
    • Privacy Screen: With its dense growth habit, it can be used as a privacy screen or hedge in residential gardens.
    • Architectural Interest: Can be used as a focal point in landscape design due to its unique appearance and structural form.
    • Erosion Control: The plant's root system can help stabilize slopes and prevent soil erosion.
    • Winter Interest: It provides visual interest during winter months when many other plants are dormant or have died back.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Mahonia 'Undulata' berry ink: The berries of the Mahonia 'Undulata' can be crushed and boiled to produce a natural purple ink for writing or fabric dyeing.
    • Dye for wool: The berries yield a strong, natural dye that can be used in the process of coloring wool and other natural fibers.
    • Photography: Extracts from the Mahonia 'Undulata' can be used in the production of certain types of plant-based photographic developers.
    • Tool handles: The wood of Mahonia 'Undulata' is extremely dense and can be used to make sturdy handles for small hand tools.
    • Food garnish: The bright yellow flowers can be used as an edible garnish to add a splash of color to both sweet and savory dishes.
    • Leather tanning: The bark contains tannins which can be extracted and used in the leather tanning process.
    • Floral arrangements: The striking foliage and berries provide texture and color contrasts in both fresh and dried floral arrangements.
    • Wildlife habitat enhancement: Planting Mahonia 'Undulata' in gardens and landscapes can provide food and shelter for native birds and insects.
    • Engraving material: The dense wood of the Mahonia 'Undulata' can be used for engraving smaller pieces of artwork.
    • Soil erosion control: Due to its dense root system, Mahonia 'Undulata' can be effective in stabilizing soil and preventing erosion on slopes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Oregon Grape is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Oregon Grape is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Mahonia, often known as Oregon Grape, is a plant that can thrive in a range of challenging conditions, symbolizing the ability to withstand adversity.
    • Healing: With its use in traditional medicine, particularly by Native American tribes, the Oregon Grape signifies healing and the importance of nature in fostering health.
    • Protection: The holly-like leaves of the Oregon Grape, which can be quite sharp, suggest a symbolic meaning of protection and defense.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-5 years
Fall to spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Oregon Grape should be watered deeply and infrequently to mimic its natural woodland habitat. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again, which typically translates to about once a week during the growing season. In the winter, reduce watering to every two to three weeks depending on the humidity of your environment. When watering, apply water directly to the base of the plant until it begins to run out of the bottom of the pot, ensuring you provide thorough soil saturation. An average of 1 to 2 gallons per watering session should suffice, but always adjust based on the plant's response and the local climate.

  • sunLight

    The Oregon Grape performs best in partial shade to filtered sunlight conditions. It thrives under the canopy of larger trees where it receives dappled sunlight, making it ideal for woodland gardens or north-facing locations that receive bright, indirect light. Avoid placing it in areas with full sun all day, as this can cause its leaves to scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Oregon Grape is hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures, performing well outdoors in zones 5 through 9. It can withstand minimum temperatures down to around -20 degrees Fahrenheit and can survive in maximum temperatures typical of its hardiness zone range. The ideal temperature range for promoting healthy growth is between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Oregon Grape to maintain its shape and remove any dead or damaged branches, typically doing so in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Deadheading the spent flower clusters after blooming can encourage additional blooms. Lightly thinning the plant every few years helps to increase air circulation and can stimulate new growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Oregon Grape 'Undulata' thrives in a well-draining soil mix that's rich in organic matter, with a pH between 5.0 and 7.5. A suitable soil recipe could be a mixture of garden soil, compost, peat moss, and a small amount of sand or perlite to improve drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Oregon Grape 'Undulata' should be repotted every 2-3 years or when it becomes root-bound. Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one to allow for growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Oregon Grape 'Undulata' prefers moderate humidity levels but is fairly tolerant of different humidity conditions, making it suitable for most home environments without the need for special adjustments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and ensure pot has drainage.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade with well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of the Oregon Grape 'Undulata' (Mahonia × wagneri 'Undulata') begins with germination, where the seeds sprout in moist, well-drained soil, typically in partial to full shade. The seedling stage follows, during which young plants gradually develop a set of true leaves, apart from the initial cotyledons. As it enters the juvenile phase, the Oregon Grape 'Undulata' starts to exhibit its characteristic pinnate leaves with wavy margins and begins to form a woody stem. In maturity, the shrub produces clusters of yellow flowers in late winter to early spring, which are pollinated by insects, leading to the development of blue-black berries in the following months. These berries are a food source for birds, which aid in seed dispersal. The mature plant continues to grow and may need pruning to maintain shape, and with proper care, the Oregon Grape 'Undulata' has a lifespan of many years, sometimes several decades.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Fall to spring

    • Propogation: The Mahonia x wagneri 'Undulata', commonly known as the Pinnate Mahonia, is typically propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. This popular method is usually done during the late summer months. To propagate, healthy, semi-hardwood stems of about 4 to 6 inches long (10 to 15 centimeters) are selected and cut just below a node. The leaves on the lower half of the cutting are removed, and the cut end is dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The prepared cutting is then inserted into a pot filled with a mixture of potting soil and perlite or sand to ensure good drainage. The pot is placed in a warm, bright area out of direct sunlight, and the soil is kept moist until roots have developed, which typically takes several weeks. After rooting, the new Pinnate Mahonia plants can be transferred to individual pots and eventually planted out in the garden.