FLOWERING SHRUB. Evergreen shrubs sometimes listed in catalogues under berberis but which can be distinguished by the spineless stems and the pinnate or compound leaves, I.e. several leaves joined to a common stalk. Mahonia aquifolium or Oregon grape reaches 3 to 4 ft., thriving in sun or shade. It is perfectly happy growing under trees. The rich yellow flowers appear in early spring, followed by blue-black fruits which make a pleasing jelly. The leaves often turn purplish-red in winter. Makes a good 4 ft. hedge, especially in town gardens. The plant often catalogued as Mahonia japonica bealei (the precise name is probably uncertain) is a magnificent shrub to about 9 ft. when well established, with clusters of fragrant lemon-yellow flowers in late winter. It prefers a sheltered position, though quite hardy. Increase both species by seed sown in a cold frame in early autumn.

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