Ilex sp. Mahonia sp.


Ilex sp. – holly. Mahonia sp.


I love holly. Totally beautiful, very functional, attracts birds like crazy, and very easy to care for. The occasional scratch is worth it.

Looks more like Berberis aquifolium to me. Notice the compound leaves. No less worth our attention, of course.

Lovely image. Makes me cold just looking at it, though.

Having done some landscaping, I agree with Wheels about the low-maintenance aspect.


There are several species of holly (Ilex) as well as of Mahonia, sometimes called Berberis. The common species of Mahonia in western U.S.A seems to be Mahonia (or Berberis) aquifolium, also known as Oregon Grape. In my yard in western Norway I have a Mahonia bush planted by a former owner as well as two small self-sown trees of common European holly, Ilex aquifolium. The latter grows wild in an adjacent forest. The two species are not closely related to each other and are easy to distinguish, not the least by the color of flowers and berries.

My opinion is the same as that of Achrachno. The leaves are more similar to Mahonia than to Ilex. Right now all blue Mahonia berries are gone, a few leaves are turning brown because of lack of water when the ground is frozen, but there are already buds which will turn into brilliant yellow flowers when spring arrives.

I agree that it’s Mahonia. Probably M. aquifolium or pinnata. Not likely M. bealei, too many teeth.

The birds really love the berries and here the winter blooms are nicely fragrant on warm days. This one is showing nice winter color.

I agree that it’s Mahonia.

OK, thanks! I will change the title right away.

I have a different plant with somewhat bigger leaves, which I thought was Oregon grape holly. I gather it is not a holly either.

I feel like a friend of mine who saw a hemlock tree and went off to tell his wife that there were several kinds of pine trees.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on December 25, 2010 12:00 PM.

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