One of the stars in the Pacific Northwest garden in the month of March is Tall Oregon Grape, also known as Mahonia aquifolium. This super hardy evergreen will thrive almost anywhere you put it. It tolerates wet or dry soil, sun or shade, but prefers shade to semi-shade.
Tall Oregon grape can grow as high as 10 feet and can be used as a hedge. The thorny, stiff and leathery leaves will deter those dog and cat “visitors”. In a shady location it tends to be thinner and leggy so pruning is a must if you want a thicket. It could be used as an alternative to bamboo.
The yellow flowers that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are followed by bitter blue fruit which will attract other birds.
The leaves will turn a reddish color in the fall.
There is also a dwarf variety called Mahonia nervosa.