Hardy, Edible Fruit, Fragrant Showy Flowers, Evergreen with Fall Color, Shade, Cold and Drought Tolerant, Attracts Birds, Wildlife Food/Shelter, Adaptable Oregon Holly Grape is an evergreen shrub that is native to rocky woods and coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest from British Columbia to northern California. It is known by a large variety of different common names including Oregon holly grape, Oregon grape holly or Oregon grape. This is a slow growing, suckering, evergreen shrub with a spreading to upright habit that typically grows 3 to 6 feet tall and to 5 feet wide. It is noted for its mildly fragrant yellow flowers in spring, edible blue-black berries in late summer, shiny compound holly-like evergreen foliage and ability to grow well in shade. Oregon Holly Grape is an evergreen shrub related to the barberry. It is not a true grape, but gets its name from the purple clusters of berries whose color and slightly dusted appearance is reminiscent of grapes. The flower is the State Flower of Oregon, hence the common name. It is used in gardens and natural landscaping similarly to barberry, as a plant suited for low-maintenance plantings and loose hedges. It is resistant to summer drought, tolerates poor soils, and does not create excessive leaf litter. Its berries attract birds and a variety of wildlife. The berries of the Oregon grape are edible and can be made into jam or the juice can be fermented to make wine, similar to European barberry wine folk traditions, although it requires an unusually high amount of sugar. The inner bark of the larger stems and roots of Oregon grape yield a yellow dye; the berries give purple dye. As the leaves of Oregon grape are holly-like and resist wilting, the foliage is sometimes used by florists for greenery.
The holly grape shrub is as attractive as it is useful
Evergreen shrub native to rocky and coniferous forests of the northwest U.S.
Produces mildly fragrant yellow blossoms in spring
Blue-black berries are edible and delicious
Grows from 3 to 6 feet tall and grows well in shade