Mahonia japonica (Thunb.) DC.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Mahonia japonica' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/mahonia/mahonia-japonica/). Accessed 2021-11-30.

Genus

Synonyms

  • Ilex japonica Thunb.
  • Berberis japonica (Thunb.) R. Br.

Glossary

acuminate
Narrowing gradually to a point.
apex
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
cuneate
Wedge-shaped.
falcate
Sickle-shaped.
lanceolate
Lance-shaped; broadest in middle tapering to point.
leaflet
Leaf-like segment of a compound leaf.
lustrous
Smooth and shiny.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
ovoid
Egg-shaped solid.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Mahonia japonica' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/mahonia/mahonia-japonica/). Accessed 2021-11-30.

An evergreen shrub with stiff, stout, sparsely branched stems. Leaves 12 to 18 in. long, with thirteen to nineteen leaflets, the lowermost pair inserted near the base of the leaf and much smaller than the others; leaflets leathery and fairly rigid, the lateral ones (except the basal pair) lanceolate-ovate or oblong-ovate, 2 to 4 in. long, acuminate and spine-tipped at the apex, obliquely rounded or rounded-cuneate at the base, slightly falcate, armed on each side with three to six spiny teeth (one or two fewer on the inner than on the outer side), terminal leaflet usually broader and slightly longer than the lateral ones, all lustrous green above, yellowish green beneath. Flowers yellow, fragrant, fairly widely spaced on spreading or pendulous racemes 4 to 8 or even 10 in. long, which are borne in clusters of up to ten at the ends of the previous season’s growths; bracts of the individual flowers ovate or lanceolate-ovate, 316 to 516 in. long, about 18 in. wide; flowers stalks slender, about 14 in. long. Fruits ovoid, deep bluish purple, about 516 in. long.

This species is cultivated in Japan but is said not to be found wild there. For its occurrence outside Japan, see below. It has been much confused with the related M. bealei and has also hybridised with it in gardens. It therefore seems best to describe this species here and thereafter discuss the two together.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

† cv. ‘Hiemalis’. – Long-cultivated in Britain, though rarely encountered, this cultivar received a three-star rating in the Boskoop trials of 1972-4. The name refers to its tendency to open its flowers soon after midwinter, but its main merit is its vigour and floriferousness. There is an example at Wakehurst Place, Sussex, which came from Messrs Robert Veitch of Exeter in 1927 and is about 5 ft high and 8 ft wide. The leaves are somewhat shorter, with on the average one pair of leaflets fewer than described by Mr van de Laar, but its great age could explain the difference.