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Mahonia schiedeana (Schlecht.) Fedde

Modern name

Berberis trifolia (Cham. & Schltdl.) Schult. & Schult.f.


Berberis schiedeana Schlecht.

A shrub of variable habit, prostrate at high altitudes but erect and reportedly up to 15 ft high in favourable situations. Leaflets three to seven, ovate, 34 to 114 in. long, dull grey-green above, very rigid, margins undulate, with three to six spine-teeth on each side. Flowers bright yellow, produced on very short racemes (mostly 12 to 114 in. long); pedicels with bracteoles in the lower half. Fruits ovoid, blue with a pruinose bloom, up to 12 in. long.

A native of Mexico; introduced by E. K. Balls in 1938 under his seed number 4618, collected at 14,000 ft. A specimen taken from the wild plants was identified in an American herbarium as M. eutriphylla var. saxatilis, but another specimen in the Kew Herbarium, under the same number, is undoubtedly M. schiedeana, and so too is the plant at Highdown in Sussex, raised by the late Sir Frederick Stern from seed number 4618. In the true M. eutriphylla the leaves have only three leaflets, all springing from the apex of the petiole; in M. schiedeana a leaf may have only three leaflets, but then the terminal one is well separated by a length of rachis from the two laterals.

At Highdown M. schiedeana is not completely hardy, but has attained a height of 4-5 ft and both flowers and fruits. Plants from the same seed collection grow well in Mr Hillier’s collection at Jermyns House near Romsey.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

The correct name for this species is M. trifolia; see below.



Other species in the genus