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 Mahonia subsp. var.  
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[[]] > Mahonia var. ,

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Mahonia (after Bernard M'Mahon. a prominent American horticulturist; 1775-1816; see Vol. Ill, p. 1586, for a biographical sketch). Syn., Odostemon. Berberidaceae. Ornamental woody plants grown chiefly for their handsome evergreen foliage and for their large panicles of yellow flowers. Usually united with Berberis.

Evergreen shrubs, rarely small trees: lvs. alternate, odd-pinnate, rarely 3-foliolate, with minute subulate stipules: fls. yellow, in many-fld. racemes or panicles springing from the axils of bud-scales; sepals 9; petals 6 with nectaries at the base; stamens 6; ovary 1-celled with usually few ovules: fr. a dark blue and bloomy, rarely red berry, with usually few small seeds.—About 45 species in N. and Cent. Amer. and E. and S. E. Asia. From Berberis with which it is often united, it is easily distinguished by the pinnate lvs. and the unarmed branches, also by the large infl. springing from the axils of bud-scales and by the 9 sepals. Monograph by Fedde in Engler, Bot. Jahrbucher 31:30-133 (1901).

The mahonias are very handsome evergreen shrubs spreading usually by suckers, with large leaves and yellow flowers in conspicuous panicles appearing in spring and followed by dark blue bloomy berries. Most of the species are tender, but M. repens, M. Aquifolium, M. nervosa. M. pinnata var. Wagneri are hardy as far north as Massachusetts, but the foliage is liable to be scorched if exposed to the winter's sun, though M. repens is more resistant and is rarely burned. M. japonica will succeed if planted in sheltered situations. M. pinnata is a most beautiful evergreen species, but it requires protection from cold winds, and the winter's sun. M. repens is the best evergreen species we have. It spreads rapidly and the foliage is rarely burned, and the numerous clusters of showy yellow flowers render it most attractive at the end of May. They prefer a humid soil and a position sheltered from strong winds and from the hot sun. They are easily transplanted and some, particularly M. repens and M. nervosa, spread considerably by suckers. Propagation is by seeds sown soon after maturity or stratified and sown in spring, or by suckers which are freely produced in most species, also by cuttings of half-ripened wood under glass and by layers.

M. arguta, Hutchins. (Berberis Hutchinsonii, Rehd. B. arguta, Ball, not Schneid.). Shrub, to 5 ft.: lfts. 9-11, lanceolate, entire or with few teeth: fls. in pendulous racemes, 12-16 in, long. Probably from Cent. Amer. B.M. 8266. Gn. 72 p. 481.—M. brevipes, Rehd. (Berberis brevipes, Greene). Allied to B. repena, but much smaller in every part: lvs. short-petioled; Ifts. usually 7, broadly elliptic-oblong, 1-1¾in. long: racemes short, few-fid. Alberta.— M. gracilis, Fedde (Berberis gracilis, Hartw.). Allied to B. pinnata. Lfts. ovate to lanceolate, finely serrate or entire, 1-2 in. long, lustrous. Mex., Texas.—M. haematocarpa, Fedde (Berberis haematocarpa, Wooton). Very similar to B. Fremontii, but the terminal 1ft. longer than the lanceolate lateral ones: fr. red. Colo, and New Mex.—M. heterophylla. Schneid. (B. heterophylla, Zabel, not Juss. B. toluacensis, Hort.). Possibly M. Aquifolium XM. Fortunei. Lvs. long-petioled; Ifts. 5-7, lanceolate, 1½-3½in. long, 1\3-1 in. broad, spiny-toothed, lustrous. Of unknown origin.—M pallida. Fedde (Berberis pallida, Benth.). Lfts. 9-13, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2-3 ½ in. long, spinose, dark green above, grayish beneath: racemes compound, loose. Mex.—M pumila, Fedde (Berbcria pumila, Greene). Allied to M. repens. A foot high or less: sts. upright, rigid, not sarmentose: Ifte. 1-5, thick, ovate to round-ovate, coarsely spiny-toothed, reticulate: racemea short: berries smaller, very glaucous. Calif., Coast Range.—M. tenuifolia, Fedde (Berberis tenuifolia, Lindl.). Lfts. 3-7, lanceolate, entire: racemes nodding, very long and loose. Mex.—Af. trifoliolota, Fedde (Berberis trifoliolata, Moric. B. trifoliata, Hartw.). Allied to B. Fremontii. Lfts. 3, sessile, rigid, pale: coarsely spiny-toothed: racemes short, few-fld. Texas to Mex.—M Wilcoxii, Rehd. (B. Wilcoxii, Kearny. Odostemon Wilcoxii. Heller). Allied to M. Aquifolium, but Ifts. smaller, very coriaceous, oval or ovate with only 3-5 spreading spiny teeth on each side. Aris.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

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