Mahonia gracilipes (Oliv.) Fedde

Red-flowered Mahonia




Family: Berberidaceae

Genus: Mahonia

Category: Shrub - Evergreen

Zones: (7)8 to 9

Size: 3 to 5' tall, 2 to 3' wide

Growth Rate: Slow

Exposure: Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Moist well-drained soil, needs consistent moisture. Deep green foliage with bluish tinge. but the underside is white. 5 to 9 leaflets, 3 to 5" long and up to 2" wide. Flowers in late summer to autumn, small flowers on long racemes, dark pink sepals and white petals, followed by blue fruit. Cold weather and stress can redden or golden the foliage. Suckering and spreading. Heronswood says full sun?


Native to southwestern China. Introduced by Roy Lancaster in 1980 from Mt. Omei, Sichuan where it grows in moist shady locations.

Published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 31: 1-2: 128 in 1902.

Basionym is Berberis gracilipes Oliv.

'Gracilipes' - with a slender stalk


My Experience: 

I purchased a 2-gallon plant from Nurseries Caroliniana in November 2010 and overwintered it in the pot in the conservatory. It did well and I planted it in the Almost Shade Garden but it struggled and I repotted it. I lost track of it but in September 2014 I found it again, a bit straggly, and planted it in the Helipad And Tiers garden.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner