Tall Oregon Grape
Oregon Grape can reach 10' tall, but is usually 5' in gardens. In spring, large clusters of small golden flowers unfurl from shiny green, holly-like foliage. New growth is copper color in the spring. The blue fruits are tart and improve after frost. They are often gathered for jelly or wine. Used to treat a wide variety of ailments, Oregon Grape species contain the extremely potent alkaloid, berberine, (also found in goldenseal) which is antiseptic and stimulates the liver and spleen. It flourishes in sun or shade and is highly drought tolerant: perfect for the northwest.
An evergreen shrub, this Oregon Grape is good looking all year. After the lovely yellow flower clusters have gone by, true blue berries will take their place. Birds and small wildlife are attracted to these berries but they'll usually leave enough for you to admire. The contrast between the blue fruits and the glossy green foliage is picture perfect. Wintertime, your Tall Oregon Grape will color it's leaves to bronze, only to green up again when spring comes round. Use this plant for hedges, borders and drifts. They grow quickly and make a great fence!
Click here for Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database