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Foliage - fall color

Texas Mahonia
Mahonia swaseyi (Berberis swaseyi)


Texas mahonia is endemic to the Edwards Plateau, where it grows in full sun to light shade in rocky limestone soil. It is similar to agarita (B. trifoliolata), with which it shares habitat but is much less common, and red barberry (B. haematocarpa), but is distinguished by its foliage, which turns reds and purples in the fall, and by its slightly larger, more orange fruit. Like red barberry, it has five or more spiny leaflets, whereas agarita has only three. It has many fragrant yellow flowers in early spring, followed by amber-red fruit, which attracts birds and other wildlife. Texas mahonia is very worthy of landscape use, but it is rarely available in nurseries, whereas agarita is sometimes grown by specialty growers.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub
medium shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: yellow

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: red - orange or red - amber berry

Height: to 5 feet

Width: to 5 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments:

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