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Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Mahonia repens ranges from British Columbia and Alberta, Canada and south through California, west to Texas and North Dakota, U.S.

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States or Provinces

(key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES
AZ CA CO ID IN MN MT NE NV NM
ND OR PA SD TX UT WA WY

CANADA
AB BC ON

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [31]:

1 Northern Pacific Border

2 Cascade Mountains

4 Sierra Mountains

5 Columbia Plateau

6 Upper Basin and Range

8 Northern Rocky Mountains

9 Middle Rocky Mountains

10 Wyoming Basin

11 Southern Rocky Mountains

12 Colorado Plateau

13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont

14 Great Plains

15 Black Hills Uplift

16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands

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Oregon-grape is native to the western United States and Canada. It occurs from central British Columbia and southern Alberta to western South Dakota, south to California, and east to southern Arizona and New Mexico, and Minnesota [34,61,133,207,216]. Isolated populations are also present in western Texas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania [61]. The Flora of North America provides a distributional map of Oregon-grape.

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Alta., B.C.; Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Minn., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.Mex., N.Dak., Oreg., S.Dak., Tex., Utah, Wash., Wyo.
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Calif., Oreg.
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Calif.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: rhizome

This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available [3,68,71,85,88,99,100,109,124,214,216].

Oregon-grape is a perennial, evergreen, creeping subshrub [71,100,109,135,157,210,216]. Stem height is 4 to 12 inches (10-30 cm) [61,68,85,88,99,100,109,135,157,216]. Each aerial stem arises from a rhizome that gives rise to other aerial stems at intervals [3,85,110,135,149,181,210,216]. Leaves are pinnately compound with 3 to 7 spine-toothed leaflets [61,68,71,85,100,109,124,135,153,210]. Flowers occur in dense racemes or umbels [3,68,85,99,100,110,124,153,157,210,216]. Fruits are berries, 0.4 inches long (1 cm) and borne in grape-like clusters [3,68,71,85,99,110,124,135,210,216]. Each berry contains 1 to 4 seeds, 0.2 to 0.4 inches (0.6-1.0 cm) long [61,110]. Each Oregon-grape fruit contains several seeds [3,68,71,85,99,110,116,124,135,149,210,216]. Oregon-grape produces 71,120 seeds per pound [96].

Roots: Oregon-grape has fibrous rhizomes and roots that typically grow 0.6 to 2.0 inches (1.5-5 cm) below the mineral soil surface [35,36,88,128,132,147]. Rhizomes can sprout from relatively great depth without the stimulus of fire [35,78]. Bradley [35] found 1 active rhizome branch originating from 5.9 inches (15 cm) below the soil surface that was nearly emergent in Pattee Canyon, in western Montana. In the Black Hills of South Dakota, a 6 ft² study plot identified 31 stems originating from the same root system [32]. Roots can reach a maximum rooting depth of 6 feet (1.8 m), providing adaptability to water stress [40,145].

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Description

Shrubs , evergreen, 0.02-0.2(-0.6) m. Stems monomorphic, usually without short axillary shoots. Bark of 2d-year stems grayish or purplish brown, glabrous. Bud scales 3-8 mm, deciduous. Spines absent. Leaves (3-)5-7-foliolate; petioles (1-)3-9 cm. Leaflet blades thin and flexible; surfaces abaxially dull, papillose, adaxially dull, rarely glossy, somewhat glaucous; terminal leaflet stalked, blade 3.2-9.5 × 2.3-6 cm, 1.2-2.2(-2.5) times as long as wide; lateral leaflets ovate or elliptic, 1(-3)-veined from base, base rounded to obtuse or truncate, margins plane, toothed, with 6-24 teeth 0.5-3 mm tipped with spines to 0.6-2.8 × 0.1-0.25 mm, apex rounded, rarely obtuse or even broadly acute. Inflorescences racemose, dense, 25-50-flowered, 3-10 cm; bracteoles membranous, apex rounded to obtuse or broadly acute. Anther filaments with distal pair of recurved lateral teeth. Berries blue, glaucous, oblong-ovoid, 6-10 mm, juicy, solid. 2 n = 28.
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Description

Shrubs , evergreen, 0.1-0.4 m. Stems monomorphic, without short axillary shoots. Bark of 2d-year stems gray-brown or purplish, glabrous. Bud scales 3-6 mm, deciduous. Spines absent. Leaves 3-9-foliolate; petioles 0.5-4 cm. Leaflet blades thick and rigid; surfaces abaxially dull, papillose, adaxially dull, glaucous; terminal leaflet stalked, at least on most leaves, blade 4-8 × 2-5 cm, 1.3-1.9 times as long as wide; lateral leaflet blades ovate to oblong-ovate or elliptic, 1(-3)-veined from base, base obtuse, rarely truncate, margins plane or undulate, toothed, with 2-10 teeth 1-3 mm tipped with spines to 1.6-3 - 0.3-0.4(-0.5) mm, apex obtuse or rounded, rarely broadly acuminate. Inflorescences racemose, dense, 30-45-flowered, 2-4 cm; bracteoles membranous, apex rounded or obtuse, sometimes apiculate. Flowers: anther filaments with distal pair of recurved lateral teeth. Berries dark blue, glaucous, oblong-ovoid to spheric, 5-8 mm, juicy, solid. 2 n = 28.
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Description

Shrubs , evergreen, 0.2-1.2 m. Stems monomorphic, without short axillary shoots. Bark of 2d-year stems purple, glabrous. Bud scales 3-6 mm, deciduous. Spines absent. Leaves 5-7-foliolate; petioles 1.5-5 cm. Leaflet blades thick and rigid; surfaces abaxially dull, papillose, adaxially dull, ± glaucous; terminal leaflet stalked, blade 4.4-5.5 × 3.1-4.6 cm, 1.1-1.4 times as long as wide; lateral leaflet blades oblong or circular, 1-5-veined from base, base truncate or cordate, margins undulate or crispate, toothed, each with 9-15 teeth 1-3 mm tipped with spines to 1.4-2.4 × 0.2-0.4 mm, apex truncate or broadly rounded. Inflorescences racemose, dense, 25-35-flowered, 3-6 cm; bracteoles membranous, apex obtuse or rounded. Flowers: anther filaments distally with pair of recurved teeth: author had no data available. Berries dark blue, glaucous, ovoid to elliptic, 7-9 mm, juicy, solid. 2 n = 28.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Berberis aquifolium Pursh var. repens (Lindley) Scoggan; B. sonnei (Abrams) McMinn; Mahonia repens (Lindley) G. Don; M. sonnei Abrams
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Synonym

Mahonia pumila (Greene) Fedde
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Synonym

Mahonia amplectens Eastwood, Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci., ser. 4, 20: 145. 1931
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Type Information

Isotype for Mahonia sonnei Abrams
Catalog Number: US 2699
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. Sonne
Year Collected: 1885
Locality: Truckee., Nevada, California, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Abrams, L. 1934. Phytologia. 1: 92.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Mahonia repens is found in medium-textured, well-drained sandy loam, chalky, or granitic soil in coniferous forests and sometimes on shallow rocky sites where other vegetation is sparse. Creeping Oregon-grape is tolerant of very strongly acid to mildly alkaline soils with pH ranging from 4.6 to 7.6.

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Habitat characteristics

More info for the term: xeric

Oregon-grape is abundant on north-facing slopes [133,151]. It occurs in dry to moist foothill shrublands and montane areas [68,85,99,109,110,124,135,157,210,214,216] with sparse understory vegetation [61]. Oregon-grape also occurs in moist sites on plains, low-elevation woodlands [119,133], riparian areas, and occasionally wetland areas [83]. Oregon-grape is among the most resistant plants to winter sun exposure [213].

Elevation: Oregon-grape grows at elevations ranging from near sea level on the Pacific coast to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in the Rocky Mountains [85,216]. Elevational ranges by state are shown below:

Arizona 5,000- 8,500 feet (1,500-2,600 m) [100]
California 1,000-7,200 feet (300-2,200 m) [88]
Colorado 5,500-10,000 feet (1,700-3,100 m) [85]
Nevada 5,000-10,000 feet (1,500-3,100 m) [99]
New Mexico 6,500-10,000 feet (2,000-3,100 m) [124]
Texas 4,500-8,000 feet (1,400-2,400 m) [157,210]
Utah 3,600-9,800 feet (1,100-3,000 m) [216]

Soil: Oregon-grape is found in medium-textured, well-drained sandy loam, chalky, or granitic soil in coniferous forests [34,71,213] and sometimes on shallow, rocky sites where other vegetation is sparse [46,213]. Oregon-grape grows well on soils derived from limestone and quartzite in western Montana [67]. It is intolerant of poor drainage and high water tables [85,156,213] and is weakly tolerant to saline soils [182]. Oregon-grape is tolerant of very strongly acid to mildly alkaline soils [34,213] with pH ranging from 4.6 to 7.6 [34,182,185,189].

Climate: Oregon-grape tolerates a wide range of climates including xeric continental [81,142], Pacific maritime, core maritime, northern and southern continental [142,176,188], and subhumid montane [217].

Precipitation: Oregon-grape tolerates annual precipitation ranging from 12 inches (305 mm) per year in the Uinta Mountains of Utah [57] to 140 inches (3,556 mm) per year in northwest Oregon [120].

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: cover, phase

Oregon-grape is recognized as a dominant species in the following vegetation
classifications:

Arizona
:

Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)/Oregon-grape habitat type [7,113]

White fir (Abies concolor)/Oregon-grape habitat type [69,113,125,138]

White fir/Douglas-fir habitat type, Oregon-grape phase

White fir/Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum) habitat type, Oregon-grape phase[7]
Colorado


White fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [125]

Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type

Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)/Oregon-grape habitat type [6]
Idaho


Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [88,180,185,187].

Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [180,185,187,189,189]

Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa)/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [185]

Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)/Oregon-grape [180]

Singleleaf pinyon/curlleaf mountain mahogany-mountain snowberry-Oregon-grape/bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pinus monophylla/Cercocarpus
ledifolius-Symphoricarpos oreophilus/Pseudoroegneria spicata) [170]

Ponderosa pine/common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), Oregon-grape phase [180]
Montana


Quaking aspen/Oregon-grape habitat type [81,82]

Ponderosa pine/Oregon-grape habitat type [167,180]

Ponderosa pine/common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [116,180]

Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [180]
Nevada


Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [144]
New Mexico


White fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [113,125]

White fir/Rocky Mountain maple habitat type-Oregon-grape phase [4,7]

White fir/sparse habitat type (white fir/Douglas-fir habitat type)-Oregon-grape phase [7]

Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [113],
Oregon


Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape community type [42]
South Dakota


Quaking aspen/Oregon-grape/roughleaf ricegrass (Oryzopsis
asperifolia) habitat type [44,136,176]

Ponderosa pine/common juniper (Juniperus communis)-common
snowberry-Oregon-grape habitat type [200]

Ponderosa pine-bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)/common chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)-common snowberry-Oregon-grape habitat type [200]
Utah


Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [57,79,126]

White fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [57,219]

White-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [126,219]

Blue spruce (Picea pungens)/Oregon-grape habitat type [57,126,180,219]

Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta)/Oregon-grape habitat type [126]

Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [180,219]

Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [126,180,219]

Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [219]

Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [219]
Wyoming


Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [5,44,180,185]

Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [185]

Quaking aspen/Oregon-grape cover type [5,136,220]

Quaking aspen/subalpine fir habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [220]

Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [5,185]

Subalpine fir/Oregon grape cover type [5]

Subalpine fir/Oregon grape cover type, Oregon-grape phase [185]

Subalpine fir/Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [44]

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the term: cover

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [178]:

101 Bluebunch wheatgrass

102 Idaho fescue

109 Ponderosa pine shrubland

110 Ponderosa pine-grassland

207 Scrub oak mixed chaparral

210 Bitterbrush

215 Valley grassland

217 Wetlands

239 Pinyon-juniper

304 Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass

312 Rough fescue-Idaho fescue

317 Bitterbrush-bluebunch wheatgrass

319 Bitterbrush-rough fescue

401 Basin big sagebrush

402 Mountain big sagebrush

404 Threetip sagebrush

409 Tall forb

411 Aspen woodland

412 Juniper-pinyon woodland

413 Gambel oak

415 Curlleaf mountain-mahogany

416 True mountain-mahogany

418 Bigtooth maple

420 Snowbrush

421 Chokecherry-serviceberry-rose

422 Riparian

612 Sagebrush-grass

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [56]:

16 Aspen

42 Bur oak

63 Cottonwood

109 Hawthorn

206 Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir

208 Whitebark pine

210 Interior Douglas-fir

211 White fir

212 Western larch

213 Grand fir

215 Western white pine

216 Blue spruce

217 Aspen

218 Lodgepole pine

219 Limber pine

220 Rocky Mountain juniper

224 Western hemlock

226 Coastal true fir-hemlock

227 Western redcedar-western hemlock

228 Western redcedar

229 Pacific Douglas-fir

230 Douglas-fir-western hemlock

234 Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone

237 Interior ponderosa pine

239 Pinyon-juniper

243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer

244 Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir

245 Pacific ponderosa pine

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: shrub

KUCHLER [104] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:

K001 Spruce-cedar-hemlock forest

K002 Cedar-hemlock-Douglas-fir forest

K004 Fir-hemlock forest

K005 Mixed conifer forest

K008 Lodgepole pine-subalpine forest

K010 Ponderosa shrub forest

K011 Western ponderosa forest

K012 Douglas-fir forest

K013 Cedar-hemlock-pine forest

K014 Grand fir-Douglas-fir forest

K015 Western spruce-fir forest

K016 Eastern ponderosa forest

K017 Black Hills pine forest

K018 Pine-Douglas-fir forest

K019 Arizona pine forest

K020 Spruce-fir-Douglas-fir forest

K021 Southwestern spruce-fir forest

K023 Juniper-pinyon woodland

K033 Chaparral

K037 Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub

K038 Great Basin sagebrush

K050 Fescue-wheatgrass

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [62]:

FRES19 Aspen-birch

FRES20 Douglas-fir

FRES21 Ponderosa pine

FRES22 Western white pine

FRES23 Fir-spruce

FRES24 Hemlock-Sitka spruce

FRES25 Larch

FRES26 Lodgepole pine

FRES28 Western hardwoods

FRES29 Sagebrush

FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub

FRES35 Pinyon-juniper

FRES36 Mountain grasslands

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Open forest, shrubland, and grassland; 200-3000m.
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Open woods and rocky areas; 300-1200m.
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Rocky slopes in chaparral and open forest; of conservation concern; 900-1900m.
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Erysiphe berberidis parasitises Mahonia repens

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General Ecology

Berries and leaves are browsed by ungulates and rodents (Tilford 1998). Also, provides significant forage for the white-footed vole in coastal Oregon (Vance et al. in press). This plant aerates and stabilizes soils.

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Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fuel, prescribed fire, severity

Oregon-grape can recover quickly, remain unchanged or decrease following prescribed fire. The response of Oregon-grape to prescribed fire depends on the habitat type, fuel load, and severity of the burn. Research is needed to determine the seasonal effect of prescribed burning on Oregon-grape.

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Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: cover, duff, fire severity, fire use, frequency, fuel, litter, low-severity fire, prescribed burn, prescribed fire, relative frequency, restoration, severity, shrub, shrubs, stand-replacement fire, succession, tree, underburn, wildfire

The postfire recovery time for Oregon-grape varies according to fire severity, site
characteristics, and climatic factors.

Oregon-grape sprouted 4 months after a fire that
killed all but old growth ponderosa pine trees in a mixed-conifer forest in Zion
National Park, Utah [217].
Oregon-grape sprouted from rhizomes 1 year after fire in old-growth western
hemlock-Douglas-fir forest in the Pacific Northwest [1].
In a 1996 lightning-ignited fire in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, 4,781
acres (1,935 ha) burned. Postfire recovery was studied the following year in 3 habitats:
mountain shrublands, pinyon-juniper/shrublands, and pinyon-juniper
woodlands. Oregon-grape occurred in 10 to 20% of all habitat types. The numbers below indicate the
relative frequency of Oregon-grape [60]:

Habitat 
Mountain shrublands0.19
Pinyon-juniper/shrublands0.12
Pinyon-juniper woodlands0.14

Severe wildfires:
Oregon-grape increased after severe fires in the following habitats:
Subalpine fir/Engelmann spruce habitat: In a 1974 lightning-ignited fire in
Waterfalls Canyon in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 3,494 ac (1,414 ha) burned before
it was extinguished by snow in late November. Data were collected from
permanent plots in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1983, and 1991 in 60 unburned plots, 60 moderately
burned (40% of the canopy trees alive 1 year after the fire) plots, and 60 severely burned
plots (all trees killed and the aboveground portions of understory species are
consumed). Oregon-grape was considered one of the most important
postfire understory species in the severely burned areas, making up a maximum
cover of 1-3%. The mean percent cover of Oregon-grape is shown below [54]:
Year19751976197719831991
Unburned1trace
(<1% cover)
11t
Moderate burnt0000
Severe burnt1121

Engelmann spruce/subalpine fir and lodgepole pine stands: Oregon-grape
appeared 1 year after a severe subalpine wildfire in northern Colorado [30].
Douglas-fir: Oregon-grape was a common undergrowth species 10 years after a
severe fire in an advanced mature/early old-growth Douglas-fir forest in the
Warner Creek Basin on the Willamette National Forest near Eugene, Oregon [160].
Following a severe wildfire in 1977 in a second-growth Douglas-fir forest in
western Montana, the percent cover of Oregon-grape increased over time [204]:
Year197919821987
Postfire year2510
Percent cover3511

Ponderosa pine/common snowberry, grand fir/queencup beadlily (Clintonia uniflora), grand fir/birchleaf
spirea (Spiraea betulifolia), and grand fir/pinegrass (Calamagrostis
rubescens): Oregon-grape increased after severe fires in
these northeastern Oregon communities and utilized habitat after a
severe burn in a cool, moist grand fir forest [95].
Douglas-fir, quaking aspen, and subalpine fir: Oregon-grape appeared 5 years after a
severe fire in 1998 in Yellowstone National Park [9], perhaps due to seed
dispersal by birds and mammals.
Prescribed burning:
Oregon-grape can have an unfavorable, favorable, or
no response to prescribed burning based on the habitat, severity of the burn,
and how long after fire Oregon-grape is measured.
Unfavorable responses to prescribed burning:

Gambel oak habitat: The frequency of Oregon-grape was higher in
unburned stands versus stands burned within 8 years of the sampling date in central Utah [107]:
Treatment9 unburned stands14 burned stands
Average percent frequency7.72.6

Douglas-fir/ponderosa pine habitat: Arno [15] studied the response of
Oregon-grape for 4 years following low and high-consumption prescribed burning in a
shelterwood cutting unit in
western Montana. The average percent cover of Oregon-grape was
highest overall in the no burn areas, and greater in the
high-consumption burns compared to the low-consumption burns. Burn treatment
severity was indicated by the consumption of woody fuels, which ranged from 0% in
the no-burn to 80% in the high-consumption burn treatment. Mineral soil exposure was 4% in
the no-burn, 8% in the low-consumption burn and 9% in the high-consumption burn
[15]:
Postfire yearPretreatment 1 2 3 4
No burn3.02.62.73.03.9
Low-consumption burn1.21.62.02.62.9
High-consumption burn2.11.72.83.43.9

Mixed conifer: The effectiveness of shelterwood cutting and underburning was
tested on a ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir-grand fir forest on the Priest River
Experimental Forest in northern Idaho. Treatments included a moist fuels underburn, a dry
fuels underburn, and a no burn in the cut units. The percent canopy coverage of
Oregon-grape was measured 1 year following the moist and dry burns. Oregon-grape
changed little after the shelterwood cut in the no burn and moist underburn
areas but decreased after the dry burn [179]:
No burnMoist burnDry burn
PrecutPostcutPrefirePostfirePrefirePostfire
4.64.03.83.73.91.3

Favorable responses of Oregon-grape to prescribed burning:

Big sagebrush/grass: The effects of prescribed burning were studied by
Blaisdell [33] in the Snake River Plains in Idaho. Four hundred circular plots,
each having an area of 100 ft², were established at
regular intervals. Immediately after the plots were burned, they were
classified by intensity of burn as follows: "light burn"-smaller branches and
twigs of sagebrush unburned, only leaves consumed by fire; "moderate burn"-
larger branches of sagebrush remaining, but smaller branches and twigs consumed;
and "heavy burn"- trunk or mainstem
of sagebrush plants consumed by fire. Fifteen years following the prescribed burns,
Oregon-grape was favored by the heavy burn treatment [33]:
 Unburned Light burnModerate burnHeavy burn
Lbs/acre6.34.47.033.9

Great Basin big sagebrush: The percent cover of Oregon-grape was greater
after prescribed spring and fall fires in 1973 compared to a control site on the
Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming [127]:
TreatmentSpring burnFall burnUnburned control
Year197419751976197419751976197419751976
Cover (%) trace 1tracetrace ----1----trace ----
Frequency (%)3553----10----3----

Mixed conifer, quaking aspen/mixed conifer and quaking aspen: Oregon-grape responded quickly after
a prescribed burn applied in late September in Manning Basin in the Caribou
National Forest, Idaho. In the mixed conifer stand, the burn severity was
"moderate", indicating that litter was consumed, duff was deeply charred, but
with some remaining charcoal; shrubs were killed and partially consumed; and
most aspen stems were charred and appeared killed. In the upper-elevation and
lower-elevation aspen stands, the burn severity was "high", indicating that
litter and duff were completely consumed and mineral soil exposed; shrubs were
mostly consumed; and all aspen stems were killed. The biomass of Oregon-grape was
2/3rds of prefire quantities 5 years after
fire. The numbers below indicate biomass kg/ha [36]:

Stand

Mixed conifer

Upper-elevation aspen

Lower-elevation aspen

Prefire606585
Postfire479347

Ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir:
The Research Project Summary
Vegetation response to restoration treatments in ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forests of western Montana
provides information on prescribed fire and postfire response of plant species
in this community including
Oregon-grape.
Douglas-fir:
Vegetation was compared between clearcuts, uncut, and cut and
burned stands by Lafferty [111] in the Gold Creek drainage, 17 miles northeast
of Missoula, Montana. The clearcuts were burned in the fall between 1961 and 1964, and the study was
conducted in 1967. The burn classifications are as follows: "Unburned"-no
apparent effect of fire on the slash or soil; "lightly burned"-twigs finger-size
and smaller consumed, larger materials partly burned with needles scorched and
fuel components discernible; and "severely burned"-fire consumed most of the
organic layer, all 4 inch materials absent and logs deeply charred.
Oregon-grape was most abundant on south aspects of the
"lightly burned" stand [111]:
TreatmentUnburnedLightly burnedSeverely burned
AspectNorthEastSouthNorthEastSouthNorthEastSouth
Cover (%) 55135513055
Frequency (%)69143462011

Douglas-fir/globe huckleberry: After spring and
fall prescribed fires in the Lubrecht Experimental forest in western Montana,
the total number of Oregon-grape plants increased in 3 of 5 plots, and
frequency increased in 2 of 5 plots in both
postfire years [130]:
Plot numberPrefire 1973Postfire 1974Postfire 1975
Total no. of plantsNo. of sample quadrats with plantsTotal no. of plantsNo. of sample quadrats with plantsTotal no. of plantsNo. of sample quadrats with plants
2 (Spring burn)731010931305
30 (Spring burn)391080148613
1(Fall burn)1352156107711
3 (Fall burn)1106127818010
31 (Fall burn)6222235

Douglas-fir/ninebark habitat: On the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation in Benewah County, Idaho, Douglas-fir/ninebark habitat was burned in high- and
low-intensity prescription fires. Oregon-grape was nearly absent on high-intensity burn sites, and
unharmed on low-intensity sites. The following table provides the percent cover in unburned, low-intensity,
and high-intensity treatments. Coverages are averaged over 3 postfire years of
data collection [11].
TreatmentUnburnedLow-intensityHigh-intensity
Cover (%)1.11.20.0
Frequency (%)8.611.10.2

The average fuel load on burned sites was 58,200 kg/ha, nearly half of which
was duff [25]. Depth of duff was 1.3 cm on high-intensity sites, 4.0 cm on low-intensity sites,
and 6.6 cm on unburned sites. Three replicated high- and low-intensity fires
were sampled. High- and low-intensity fires had significantly different (p<0.05)
fireline intensities. Energy produced by high-intensity fires was between 30 to
3,034 kcal/m/s and averaged 781 kcal/m/s; energy released on low-intensity fires
averaged 127 kcal/m/s and ranged from 25 to 194 kcal/m/s. Significantly (p value
not reported) more duff was consumed on the high-intensity fire sites (80%) than
on low-intensity fire sites (40%). Flame lengths averaged 0.9 m and ranged from
0.1 to 1.7 m on both sites. On average, duff smoldered longer on high-intensity
sites than on low-intensity sites [11]. See the Research Project Summary
Understory recovery after low- and high-intensity fires in northern Idaho ponderosa pine forests
for an extended report on this study.
Lyon's Research Paper
also provides information on prescribed fire use and postfire response of plant
species, including Oregon-grape, in Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir communities.



Grand fir/Oregon boxwood (Pachistima
myrsinites): The percent shrub crown cover of Oregon-grape was studied
before (1967) and after prescribed spring burning in central
Idaho by Leege [118] with little difference [118]:
Year196719691970197019721977
% crown cover0.50.30.50.60.90.6

Grand fir/Oregon boxwood: In a study performed by Zamora [221], 43 stands of vegetation representing various
developmental stages were studied following broadcast-burned clearcut stands in north central Idaho. The average
percent canopy volume of Oregon-grape was greatest 8 years following
the treatment and decreased until Oregon-grape was no longer present in the near-climax stage [221]:
Age class1 year3 year8 year12 year23 yearNear-climax
 % canopy volume <0.10.10.7<0.10.10

Mature larch/Douglas-fir: Following spring and fall prescribed burns of "light
intensity" in the Lubrecht Experimental Forest in western Montana, almost no
damage was done to the rhizomes of Oregon-grape, and Oregon-grape sprouted either the same year or the
following year [184].
Grand fir/Oregon boxwood and western hemlock/Oregon boxwood: A 20-year record of shrub
succession in clearcut and clearcut-burned areas
was studied in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest in northern Idaho by Wittinger
and others [218]. Oregon-grape increased following logging and/or burning on 3 sites in
the western hemlock/Oregon boxwood sites and 2 sites in the grand fir/Oregon boxwood habitat
as shown below [218]:
The Jupiter Creek-Diamond Cut site is located in the western hemlock-Oregon boxwood
habitat and was clearcut in 1950 and not burned. Oregon-grape increased 7 years after
clearcutting but decreased 25 years after clearcutting [218]:
Jupiter Creek-Diamond cut site

Unlogged adjacent

7 years after clearcutting14 years after clearcutting25 years after clearcutting
% composition8.719.32.81.6
% cover3.714.12.02.3

The Jupiter Creek-Power Line site is located in the western hemlock/Oregon boxwood habitat and
was clearcut and burned in 1961. The percent composition and percent cover
changed little 3 years and 14 years after the treatment [218]:
Jupiter Creek-Power Line site
3 years after clearcutting and burning14 years after clearcutting and burning
% composition1.30.9
% cover0.91.8

The Beetle Creek site is located in the western hemlock/Oregon boxwood habitat and was cut in
1956 and burned in 1958. Oregon-grape increased significantly
(p<0.05) on the clearcut and burned sites compared to the unlogged adjacent site [218]:
Beetle Creek site
Unlogged adjacent6 years after clearcutting and burning17 years after clearcutting and burning
% compositiontrace2.24.5
% covertrace2.27.8

The Tourist Creek site is located in the grand fir/Oregon boxwood habitat and was clearcut and burned in 1964.
Oregon-grape increased after 5 years then decreased by 11 years [218]:
Tourist Creek site
5 years after clearcutting and burning11 years after clearcutting and burning
% composition8.34.7
% cover6.04.0

The Mullan Tree site is also located in the grand fir/Oregon boxwood habitat and was
clearcut in 1956 and burned in 1958. Oregon-grape sustained increases following
logging and burning though the 14-year period [218]:
Mullan Tree site
19641975
3 years after clearcutting and burning14 years after clearcutting and burning
% composition1.02.6
% cover0.54.6

No response to prescribed burning:

Subalpine fir/beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) habitat type, globe
huckleberry phase: The response of Oregon-grape to different clearcutting treatments
followed by burning in west-central
Montana was studied by Arno and Simmerman [20]. Oregon-grape showed little
change after the following treatments: clearcutting without additional site or slash treatment,
clearcutting with broadcast burning, clearcutting with mechanical scarification and burning in piles,
and low-severity fire, and severe, stand-replacement fire [20].

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Plant Response to Fire

Oregon-grape sprouts from rhizomes after fire. Seedling regeneration can occur from onsite or offsite sources [147]. Seedling establishment following fire has been reported by Bradley [35], possibly originating from a short-term seedbank. Oregon-grape seeds may be dispersed onto burns by birds and mammals [22,147,169].

Oregon-grape is considered an "endurer," or "survivor" due to its adaptability to survive fire by sprouting, and growth from deep-buried perennating buds [147,193,194,195,196]. Rhizomatous species, such as Oregon-grape, often increase by the end of the 1st year after fire [33,195]. If shallow rhizomes are killed by fire, the remaining rhizomes below the mineral soil surface can survive to form separate plants [35].

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Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

More info for the terms: cover, duff, flame length, frequency, resistance

Oregon-grape has "medium" resistance to fire [132,153,158,158,184,212]. This rating is interpreted as a 35-64% chance that 50% of a population will survive or immediately reestablish after a fire with an average flame length of 12 inches (30 cm) [158] and regain its prefire frequency or cover in 5 to 10 years [153,158]. Oregon-grape may be killed by severe fire (over 572º F (300° C)) that removes duff and causes heating of the soil, killing rhizomes [11,35,78,132,158,184,212]. Occasionally, Oregon-grape survives severe fires [9,15,30,33,54,95,160,204,217].

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Fire top-kills Oregon-grape. Mortality of the entire plant is induced when sufficient heat is diverted to its rhizomes which are near or below the ground surface [11,78,132,158,184,212].

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: adventitious, ground residual colonizer, rhizome, secondary colonizer, shrub

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [195]:
Small shrub, adventitious bud/root crown
Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil
Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: rhizome

Fire adaptations: Oregon-grape is adapted to fire due to its well-developed rhizome systems [3,35,36,88,128,132,147,195]; however, plants with rhizomes above the mineral layer may be killed in the case of severe fires [11,35,78,132,158,184,212].

FIRE REGIMES: Oregon-grape occurs in plant communities with a variety of FIRE REGIMES including frequent, low-severity surface fires, mixed-severity fires, and crown fires.

The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where Oregon-grape is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.

Community or ecosystem Dominant species Fire return interval range (years)
grand fir Abies grandis 35-200 [16]
basin big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata 12-43 [171]
mountain big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana 15-40 [18,38,131]
curlleaf mountain-mahogany* Cercocarpus ledifolius 13-1,000 [21,174]
mountain-mahogany-Gambel oak scrub Cercocarpus ledifolius-Quercus gambelii <35 to <100
Rocky Mountain juniper Juniperus scopulorum <35 [154]
western larch Larix occidentalis 25-350 [17,29,51]
Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir Picea engelmannii-Abies lasiocarpa 35 to >200
blue spruce* Picea pungens 35-200 [16]
pinyon-juniper Pinus-Juniperus spp. <35 [154]
whitebark pine* Pinus albicaulis 50-200 [2,13]
Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine* Pinus contorta var. latifolia 25-340 [28,29,198]
Sierra lodgepole pine* Pinus contorta var. murrayana 35-200 [16]
Colorado pinyon Pinus edulis 10-400+ [59,70,101,154]
western white pine* Pinus monticola 50-200
Pacific ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa 1-47 [16]
interior ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum 2-30 [16,24,115]
quaking aspen (west of the Great Plains) Populus tremuloides 7-120 [16,72,129]
mountain grasslands Pseudoroegneria spicata 3-40 (µ=10) [14,16]
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca 25-100 [16,18,19]
coastal Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii 40-240 [16,134,165]
oak-juniper woodland (Southwest) Quercus-Juniperus spp. <35 to <200 [154]
western redcedar-western hemlock Thuja plicata-Tsuga heterophylla >200 [16]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, cover, density, frequency, low-severity fire, succession

Oregon-grape is present throughout all successional stages [65,77,120]. It tolerates full sun and partial to deep shade [133,151]. It is considered a "stress tolerator" due to its shade tolerance and longevity, surviving in environments from clearcuts to dense conifer stands. As the overstory increases in density or cover, the establishment and growth of Oregon-grape diminish due to lack of sunlight [112,151,199]. Oregon-grape responds favorably to disturbances and increases after low-severity fire [11,12,183,184] as well as severe fire [9,15,30,33,54,95,160,204,217] and logging [151,175,218].

Oregon-grape is classified by various authors as a seral to climax species throughout its range. In studies by Habeck [75,76] in Glacier National Park, Montana, the forest succession of major understory species, including Oregon-grape, was studied in western redcedar-western hemlock (Thuja plicata-Tsuga heterophylla) communities after the 1967 Flathead Fire. The following table presents the percent frequency of Oregon-grape from pioneer to climax stages of succession. The gradient segments begin with pioneer communities dominated by lodgepole pine that are less than 50 years old and end with a climax community dominated by western hemlock, averaging 400 years old [75,76]:

Gradient segments I
(dominated by lodgepole pine)
II
(dominated by Engelmann spruce)
III
(dominated by western hemlock)
IV
(dominated by western redcedar/western hemlock)
V
(dominated by western hemlock)
VI
(dominated by western hemlock)
Frequency (%) 7.0 26.7 3.5 2.5 4.3 0.3

Oregon-grape was a pioneer species following the Tillamook Fires in northwestern Oregon, which burned a total of 355,000 acres (143,663 ha) over 20 years. Before the burns, the forests were dominated by Douglas-fir, western redcedar, and western hemlock at medium to high elevations, and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) at lower elevations [120].

On some site types, Oregon-grape is considered seral. Oregon-grape occurs in seral communities of Douglas-fir habitat types in central Idaho [48,187], ponderosa pine communities in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Idaho [77], Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)/roughleaf ricegrass habitat in the northern Great Plains, Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) -subalpine fir forests in northwest Wyoming [26] and quaking aspen woodlands in the West [5,6,44,81,82,136,136,137,176,220]. Oregon-grape occurs in late-seral stages in riparian areas of Zion National Park [84].

After disturbances in a ponderosa pine/common juniper habitat type in the Custer National Forest within the Missouri Plateau of Montana, Oregon-grape quickly invaded, but decreased with time and lack of disturbance [81].

Oregon-grape occurs as a climax understory dominant in the following habitats: Douglas-fir [7,48,64,80,91,113,126,168,185,186,187,187,203], grand fir [64,65,77,168,186,186], western redcedar and western hemlock forests [77,168], subalpine fir [5,44,144,185,185,219], ponderosa pine forests [116,167,168,180,200], white fir [4,7,57,69,113,125,126,138,219], quaking aspen [5,6,44,81,82,136,136,176,220], lodgepole pine [126], and blue spruce [57,126,180,219].

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: cover, density, layering, monoecious

Oregon-grape reproduces both sexually and vegetatively.

Pollination: Oregon-grape is pollinated by bees and butterflies. If cross-pollination does not occur, self-pollination may occur, frequently producing no fruits [135].

Breeding system: Oregon-grape is monoecious.

Seed production: Good fruit crops are produced almost annually from cross-pollinated plants [135].

Seed dispersal: Seeds are dispersed by birds and mammals [22,169].

Seed banking: Regeneration from seed banks is common [35,78]. Seed banking of Oregon-grape has not been studied in the field; however, seeds are viable for many years under warehouse conditions. Plummer and others [156] claim that Oregon-grape seeds can be stored up to 5 years with good viability; Jorgensen and Stevens [96] claim that seeds can be kept under uncontrolled warehouse conditions for 13 or more years with good viability and or 16 or more years of dry storage without a great loss in viability [192]. Oregon-grape had a germination rate of 25% for freshly collected seed and decreased to 23% germination after 13 years in an open warehouse, showing no great change in germination percentage [192].

Soils were sampled in mature Douglas-fir/ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus), grand fir/Rocky Mountain maple, and grand fir/globe huckleberry (Vaccinium globulare) habitat types on the Payette and Boise National Forests in west central Idaho for viable Oregon-grape seeds. In samples covering a total area of 2.28 m², 13 viable Oregon-grape seeds were found-10 seeds in the 0 to 2.0 inch (0-5 cm) layer and 3 seeds in the 2.0 to 3.9 inch (5-10 cm) layer [103].

Germination: Oregon-grape requires stratification. In the laboratory, Oregon-grape is considered a "medium germinator" [96] but is considered a "poor" germinator when planted on game ranges of Utah [156]. According to Jorgensen and Stevens [96], Oregon-grape seeds require cold stratification from 1 to 3 months. Plummer and others [156] claim that seeds can require up to 196 days cold stratification to stimulate germination.

Seedling establishment/growth: Growth of Oregon-grape is rapid after a disturbance but is slow when considered over the life of a forest stand [199]. Individual stems can live for 10 years or more [61]. As the overstory increases in density or cover, the establishment and growth of Oregon-grape generally diminish due to lack of sunlight [112,151,199]; however, in a ponderosa pine habitat in the Fort Lewis National Forest in Colorado, the percent ground cover of Oregon-grape increased as the density of trees increased. This was probably due to the affinity of Oregon-grape to acid soils created by the ponderosa pine needles [143].

Survival measurements and "vigor" estimates were made on Oregon-grape plants planted on road cut and fill slopes on 3 National Forests in eastern Washington. The survival of Oregon-grape was generally low and vigor was fair to poor on all sites [201].

Asexual regeneration: Oregon-grape regenerates by rhizomes [133,135,147,190] and layering [34,96,133].

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: chamaephyte, geophyte

RAUNKIAER [161] LIFE FORM:
Chamaephyte
Geophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: shrub

Shrub

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phenology

Oregon-grape flowers from early spring to mid-summer. Flower development likely depends on climate and site conditions:

Arizona April-June
Idaho March-July
Nevada March-June
New Mexico April-June
Uinta Basin May-June

The fruit of Oregon-grape ripens from June to September in Utah [156] and June in the Great Plains [71].

Schmidt and Lotan [173] provide phenological data on Oregon-grape east of the Continental Divide in Montana and Yellowstone National Park, and in northern Idaho and Montana west of the Continental Divide. The growing season for Oregon-grape generally begins earlier west of the Continental Divide. The table below presents the phenology of Oregon-grape based on observations from 1928 to 1937 [173]:

East of the Continental Divide in Montana and Yellowstone National Park
  leaf buds burst leaves full grown flowers start flowers end fruits ripe seeds fall starts leaves start to color/wither leaves begin to fall leaves fallen withered
average date May 6 June 12 May 28 June 22 Aug. 11 Aug. 9 Sep. 8 Sep. 20 Oct. 15
earliest date Apr. 20 May 15 Apr. 28 May 15 June 23 July 16 Aug. 25 Sep. 17 Oct. 10
latest date May 30 June 28 July 4 Aug.2 Sep. 15 Sep. 1 Sep. 15 Sep. 24 Oct. 18
standard error (days) 2 2 3 4 4 6 4 2 2
number of observations 25 24 32 31 22 7 5 4 4
Northern Idaho and west of the Continental Divide in Montana
  leaf buds burst leaves full grown flowers start flowers end fruits ripe seeds fall starts leaves start to color/wither leaves begin to fall leaves fallen withered
average date May 2 May 24 May 6 May 29 Aug. 2 Aug. 12 Sep.27 ---- ----
earliest date Mar. 20 Apr. 11 Mar. 20 Apr. 15 June 21 July 16 Sep. 24 ---- ----
latest date May 28 July1 May 28 June 16 Sep. 1 Sep. 14 Oct. 1 ---- ----
standard error (days) 4 4 3 3 3 6 2 ---- ----
number of observations 23 28 29 30 30 8 3 ---- ----

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Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring (Apr-Jun).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering winter-spring (Mar-May).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring (Apr-May).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Berberis repens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Mahonia repens is widely distributed from western Canada south to California and east to Texas and North Dakota. It is reportedly abundant throughout its range and common in second-growth forests. Closely related Mahonia species are collected for medicinal use, however Mahonia repens is not currently in demand. Trends in demand and future impacts on wild populations should be monitored, since relatively less is known about threats to this species as compared to other economic plants in this genus.

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© NatureServe

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Oregon-grape is imperiled in North Dakota [146].

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Threats

Comments: Mahonia species are reportedly used as a substitute for goldenseal (Tilford 1998). Thus, although current demand is apparently relatively small, increased interest is possible. Some experts in the medicinal industry have suggested increased research be conducted on this species, probably because several related species are used medicinally (Robbins 1998). Therefore, commercial interest and collecting activities should be monitored.

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: basal area, cover, density, frequency, resistance, wildfire

Recreation: In recreation areas of Montana, Oregon-grape showed moderate
resistance to trampling by humans due to stout stems and branches. Short-term
recovery for Oregon-grape in trampled areas was very low to low, but long-term recovery
was high [43].

Herbicide treatment and browsing:
Oregon-grape neither increased nor decreased after herbicide treatment with
picloram and clopyralid [162].
In a Gambel oak habitat on the Grand Mesa National Forest, Colorado, the percentage of cover for
Oregon-grape decreased slightly 2 years after
spraying with 2,4-5T (now banned by the EPA) [209] and increased slightly after chaining [105].
Following browsing by domestic goats in a Gambel oak habitat in northern
Utah, Oregon-grape increased [163].
Wildlife management:
A study by Pase and Hurd [151] was conducted to
determine the effects of silvicultural thinning on understory vegetation in
ponderosa pine forests in the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains in Wyoming.
Oregon-grape responded favorably to increased and decreased basal area of the
ponderosa pine stands. This was due to Oregon-grape's tolerance to full sun
and shade. The increase in Oregon-grape provided forage for deer in winter [151].
Silviculture:
In a subalpine forest in Colorado, the percent cover of
Oregon-grape decreased 3 years after clearcutting and returned to prelogging percent cover 4 years
after clearcutting [49].
The mean percent cover of Oregon-grape was higher in 50-year-old clearcut forests of
lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir compared to adjacent mature
stands of lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir in
southeastern Wyoming [175].
Following a 4,000 acre (1,619 ha) wildfire in 1968 in a ponderosa pine-mixed fir habitat
in Oregon, the effects of rehabilitation by seeding versus nonseeding were
studied by Anderson and Brooks [10]. The percent ground cover of
Oregon-grape was greater on the unseeded area than the seeded
area of the pine-mixed fir site, indicating that it may have been suppressed by
the seeded grasses [10]:

Year1969197019711972
Unseeded1427
Seededtrace00trace

Slash burning of debris in Douglas-fir/grand fir habitat of northern Idaho
favors early establishment of Oregon-grape, which is a preferred forage species
for deer [155].
Other:
Oregon-grape is an alternate host of black stem rust of cereals [100,135,213].

Oregon-grape is resistant to sulfur dioxide pollutants generated from coal-fired power
plants in southwest desert areas of the U.S. [89].
Fires of low intensity (surface soil <138° F(59°
C)) do not improve the nutrient quality of Oregon-grape browse; however, sprouting may be stimulated
[17].
The influence of prescribed understory burning
and livestock grazing on community structure was studied by Zimmerman [222] in
Douglas-fir/ninebark habitat on
the East Hatter Creek portion of the University of Idaho Experimental
Forest in northern Idaho. The density, cover, and frequency
of Oregon-grape were studied the 1st postfire year. Oregon-grape was most
abundant in the grazed, unburned areas [222]:

 GrazedUngrazed
 BurnedUnburnedBurnedUnburned
Density (plants/ha)0.04766.71633.41100.0
Cover (%)0.02.10.50.8
Frequency (%)01139

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG, LANDSCAPING

Production Methods: Cultivated, Wild-harvested

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Other uses and values

More info for the term: resistance

Medicinal: The leaves, roots, and bark of Oregon-grape were used by Native Americans for medicine. The leaves were chewed for acne [197] and made into a tonic for rheumatic stiffness [55]. The roots were used to cure dysentery, thicken the blood and cure coughs, kidney problems, and venereal diseases [135,164,197]. Liquid from chewed roots was placed on wounds [197], and the bark of Oregon-grape was used to cure stomach troubles, heartburn, and purify the blood [41].

The alkaloid berberine exhibits weak antibiotic properties. Berberis species are not known to be infected by bacterial pathogens, making them useful in medicine [100,191].

Dye: The roots of Oregon-grape were used for yellow dye [52,100,133,135,153,207].

Food: Native Americans used the berries of Oregon-grape to add flavor to soup [197]. The fruit is suitable for preserves [34,52,100,109,116,135,153,164,197,207,210,214] and wine [116,197].

Ornamental: Oregon-grape is an excellent plant for xeriscaping due to its heat and drought resistance [37,74,159,190,213,216] and it has good ornamental potential [157].

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the terms: cover, hardwood, layering, reclamation, resistance, restoration

Oregon-grape is an excellent ground cover because it protects against erosion [52,99,100,190,210] and has good resistance to insects and disease [156]. The spreading habit and ability to grow on exposed, dry rocky slopes makes Oregon-grape a useful plant for restoration on disturbed sites such as highways [133,182], recreation areas [133], mined lands [133], including acid mine sites [211], game ranges [133], and reclamation areas [216]. For quicker growth, transplants of Oregon-grape are usually used instead of direct seeding [133].

Propagation: Oregon-grape can be propagated by seeds, layering [34,96], and root cuttings [34]. For seed propagation, seeds must be collected by hand-stripping into hoppers, cleaned, and dried using a fan. A warm pretreatment of seeds is necessary for 0 to 60 days, followed by a wet prechill of 30 to 196 days [34,156]. The container production period (excluding hardening) has a moderate growth of 0-6 months and slow growth after 6 months [156]. For layering, stem cuttings of the hardwood should be harvested in the winter and grown in a greenhouse [96,177]. Propagation by root cuttings is slow and not recommended [34].

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the terms: cover, density, shrub

Oregon-grape browse contains toxic alkaloids and is slightly poisonous and unpalatable to livestock [33,52,73,136,207,210]; however, it is an important forage plant for the wildlife:

White-tailed deer and mule deer: White-tailed deer [94,139,140] and mule deer [23,63,73,106,114] eat Oregon-grape primarily in the fall and winter during periods of reduced snow cover in the Rocky Mountain region.

Oregon-grape is lightly used by mule deer in the spring and summer in the Beaver Creek Watershed of the Coconino National Forest, Arizona [141] and Chopaka Mountain, Washington [39].

The diet of mule deer was studied from 1 June to 31 August, 1962 through 1968 by Hungerford [92] in logged mixed conifer, logged ponderosa pine, a burn in mixed conifer habitat, and a control site in northern Arizona. Mule deer ate a small amount of Oregon-grape in the 2nd half of June and 1st half of July, but use was intermittent, depending upon the availability of other foods. The burned area had the highest ground cover density of Oregon-grape and the most use by deer [92].

Elk: In a study by Trout and Leege [205] along the Lochsa and Selway Rivers in northern Idaho, Oregon-grape was the 2nd most important item in the winter diet of elk. In the Threemile and Calf Creek game ranges, Montana, overall shrub use by elk was minimal, but Oregon-grape was the primary shrub used in February [114]. Oregon-grape growing in open areas is an important food for elk in the Rocky Mountains in the spring and fall [117,122].

Birds: Sharp-tailed grouse [66] and various other species of birds [100,123,157,210] eat the fruit of Oregon-grape.

Bighorn sheep: Bighorn sheep eat Oregon-grape during the winter in Montana [45,172,202].

Mountain goat: On Chopaka Mountain in Washington, Oregon-grape comprises 2.1% of mountain goat diet in winter, 2.1% in spring, 0.1% in summer, and 0.8% in the fall [39].

Moose: Oregon-grape is a forage species for moose in the fall in Montana and comprises less than 5% of the fall diet of moose in Fremont County, Idaho [166].

Bear: American black bears rely heavily on the fruits of Oregon-grape and play an important role in seed dispersal [22]. Grizzly bears also eat the berries of Oregon-grape [50,102].

Lagomorphs: Mountain cottontail and snowshoe hare eat Oregon-grape [123]. Oregon-grape comprised <6% of the desert cottontail's diet in the Sugarloaf Mountain area of the Tonto National Forest, Arizona [206].

Palatability: Oregon-grape has low palatability to livestock [47,53,97]. Game animals show low to moderate use, primarily in the fall and winter [150,207].

The percent use of Oregon-grape for big game and livestock in a grand fir/Rocky Mountain maple habitat type in central Idaho are [186]:

Deer Elk American black bear Cattle Domestic sheep
Summer Winter Summer Winter Spring Summer Fall Summer Summer
15-25% 35-45% 15-25% 35-45% 15-25% 15-25% 15-25% 15-25% 35-45%

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, white-tailed deer use of Oregon-grape was measured in winter, spring, summer, and fall. The numbers below are the utilization: availability ratio for use by white-tailed deer to availability of Oregon-grape [90]:

Winter Spring Summer Fall
8.32 .25 .00 2.72

The degree of use shown by livestock and wildlife species for Oregon-grape in several western states is as follows [53]:

  Colorado Montana Utah Wyoming
Cattle poor poor poor poor
Domestic sheep poor poor fair fair
Horse poor poor poor poor
Elk good poor good good
Mule deer good fair good good
White-tailed deer ---- good ---- good
Pronghorn ---- ---- fair poor
Upland game birds ---- fair good good
Waterfowl ---- ---- poor poor
Small non-game bird ---- fair good fair
Small mammal ---- fair good fair

Nutritional value: Oregon-grape retains usable energy value and digestible protein moderately well during the fall and winter [83]. In a study by Gastler and others [63], the composition of moisture and nutrients for Oregon-grape was analyzed in the fall, winter, spring, and summer in the Black Hills of South Dakota:

Season Moisture (%) Carotene (%) Crude Fat (%) Crude Fiber (%) Crude Protein (%) Phosphorus (%) Calcium (%) Iron (ppm) Manganese (ppm)
Fall 51.24 42.03 1.96 15.49 4.77 .100 .24 90.06 79.29
Winter 49.16 8.19 2.12 16.33 4.36 .088 .26 84.24 101.13
Spring 47.52 27.21 2.27 15.40 4.32 .11 .28 44.76 84.99
Summer 62.95 66.97 1.43 9.34 5.53 .06 .17 57.74 37.74

Cover value: Oregon-grape provides good cover for small mammals [108,159] and birds [157].

Habitat containing Oregon-grape as a predominant understory species is used by adult sharp-tailed grouse [66], boreal owls [87] and northern goshawks [152] for activities including wintering, breeding, nesting and brood rearing [66,87,152].

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, Oregon-grape comprises 36.5% of white-tailed deer diet [63] but it is considered a poor species for hiding/escape cover, thermal cover and fawning cover [148].

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Wikipedia

Mahonia repens

Mahonia repens commonly known as creeping mahonia,[1] creeping Oregon grape, creeping barberry,[2] or prostrate barberry, is a species of Mahonia native to the Rocky Mountains and westward areas of North America, from British Columbia and Alberta in the north through Arizona and New Mexico into northwest Mexico in the south.[2] It is also found in many areas of California[3] and the Great Basin region in Nevada.[2]

Description[edit]

Mahonia repens is a typical mahonia with conspicuous matte blue berries.[3] It grows as a subshrub.[2] The yellow flowers appear in the middle of spring, and the blue berries in early summer. Although it is evergreen, in fall the leaves turn bronze. The plant is found at elevations from 300 metres (980 ft) to 2,200 metres (7,200 ft).[3]

Taxonomy[edit]

Some botanists place Mahonia repens, and the genus Mahonia as a whole, in the barberry genus Berberis.[4][5][6][7] In this case, the scientific name may be given as Berberis repens. Additionally, some botanists treat the plant as a subspecies of tall Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium), in which case the scientific name Berberis aquifolium var. repens is applied.[3]

Uses[edit]

Berries are edible and used to make jellies.[1]

The Tolowa and Karok Indians of Northwest California used the roots for a blood and cough tonic. The Hopi, Paiute, Navajo, Shoshoni, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Mendocino, and other tribes also used the plant for medicinal, food, and ceremonial needs.[8] Native Americans also used the wood of the stem to produce yellow dyes.[1]

Cultivation[edit]

Mahonia repens—A cultivar of creeping Oregon grape in bloom.

Creeping mahonia is cultivated as an ornamental plant for use in natural landscaping, and in water conserving, drought tolerant, traditional residential, native plant habitat, and wildlife gardens.[1] It is a low water-needing ground cover for shade and brighter habitats, and in gardens under oaks to reduce or eliminate irrigation that can threaten mature Quercus trees. Berries and foliage are resistant to browsing by deer.

It is a year-round attractive, hardy plant, tolerant of drought, frost, and heat, so it is popular with landscape designers and gardeners. It can provide good ground cover in a cold situation. In garden conditions, and where their ranges overlap in nature, this species hybridizes readily with Oregon-grape (Mahonia aquifolium), and the hybrids are less prostrate in their habit than the pure stock.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Mahonia repens". Plant Finder. Missouri Botanical Garden-Kemper Center for Home Gardening. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "PLANTS Profile for Mahonia repens (creeping barberry)". USDA Plants. Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Jepson Manual treatment for BERBERIS aquifolium var. repens". Jepson Flora Project. University of California. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Flora of North America vol 3.
  5. ^ Loconte, H., & J. R. Estes. 1989. Phylogenetic systematics of Berberidaceae and Ranunculales (Magnoliidae). Systematic Botany 14:565-579.
  6. ^ Marroquín, Jorge S., & Joseph E. Laferrière. 1997. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from Mahonia to Berberis. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 30(1):53-55.
  7. ^ Laferrière, Joseph E. 1997. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from Mahonia to Berberis. Bot. Zhurn. 82(9):96-99.
  8. ^ Moerman, Dan. "Mahonia repens". Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan-Dearborn. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
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Berberis amplectens

Berberis amplectens is a rare species of shrubs endemic to the Peninsular Ranges of southern California, east of San Diego. It is an evergreen shrub up to 1.2 m (4 feet tall), with compound leaves and dark blue berries. It can be distinguished from other species in the genus by having numerous teeth along the leaf margins, as many as 15 per leaflet.[1][3][4]

The compound leaves place this species in the group sometimes segregated as the genus Mahonia.[1][5][6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Flora of North America vol 3.
  2. ^ The Plant List
  3. ^ Wheeler, Louis Cutter. Rhodora 39(465): 376. 1937.
  4. ^ Eastwood, Alice. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Series 4, 20(5): 145. 1931.
  5. ^ Loconte, H., & J. R. Estes. 1989. Phylogenetic systematics of Berberidaceae and Ranunculales (Magnoliidae). Systematic Botany 14:565-579.
  6. ^ Marroquín, Jorge S., & Joseph E. Laferrière. 1997. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from Mahonia to Berberis. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 30(1):53-55.
  7. ^ Laferrière, Joseph E. 1997. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from Mahonia to Berberis. Bot. Zhurn. 82(9):96-99.
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Berberis pumila

Berberis pumila is a species of shrub native to Oregon and northern California. It is found in open woods and rocky areas at an altitude of 300-1200 m (1000-4000 ft) in the Coast Ranges, the northern Sierra Nevada and the southern Cascades. [1]

Berberis pumila is evergreen, rarely more than 40 cm tall. It has compound leaves and dark blue berries.[1][3]

The compound leaves place this species in the group sometimes segregated as the genus Mahonia.[1][4][5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Flora of North America, vol 3
  2. ^ Tropicos
  3. ^ Greene, Edward Lee. Pittonia 2(10A): 161–162. 1891.
  4. ^ Loconte, H., & J. R. Estes. 1989. Phylogenetic systematics of Berberidaceae and Ranunculales (Magnoliidae). Systematic Botany 14:565-579.
  5. ^ Marroquín, Jorge S., & Joseph E. Laferrière. 1997. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from Mahonia to Berberis. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 30(1):53-55.
  6. ^ Laferrière, Joseph E. 1997. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from Mahonia to Berberis. Bot. Zhurn. 82(9):96-99.
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Notes

Comments

Berberis sonnei was described based on plants with relatively narrow, rather shiny leaflets collected by Sonne in Truckee, California. Subsequent collections from this population show the morphology typical of B . repens ; Sonne's collections evidently are an aberrant form of this species. 

 Berberis repens is resistant to infection by Puccinia graminis .

Various Native American tribes used preparations of the roots of Berberis repens to treat stomach troubles, to prevent bloody dysentary, and as a blood purifier; mixed with whiskey, it was used for bladder problems, venereal diseases, general aches, and kidney problems; and preparations made from the entire plant served as a cure-all and as a lotion for scorpion bites (D. E. Moermann 1986).

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Comments

Berberis pumila is resistant to infection by Puccinia graminis .
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Comments

Berberis amplectens is endemic to the Peninsular Ranges of southern California. It is resistant to infection by Puccinia graminis .
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Kartesz (1994 'Synonymized Checklist' and 1999 'Synthesis of the North American Flora') includes Mahonia (or Berberis) sonnei in Mahonia (or Berberis) repens here; USFWS recognizes the 'sonnei' taxon as a distinct species. LEM 18Feb01.

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The currently accepted scientific name for Oregon-grape is Berberis repens Lindl.
(Berberidaceae) [58,58,88,110,169].

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Common Names

Oregon-grape

creeping Oregon-grape

dwarf Oregon-grape

Oregon barberry

creeping barberry

creeping western barberry

ash barberry

creeping mahonia

holly grape

creeping holly grape

mountain holly

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Synonyms

Berberis amplectens (Eastw.) L.C. Wheeler

Berberis pumila Greene

Berberis sonnei (Abrams) McMinn [98]

Mahonia amplectens Eastw. [61,98]

Mahonia repens (Lindl.) G. Don [3,68,71,85,98,99,100,109,124,135,157,210,214,216]

Odostemon repens (Lindl.) Cockerell [124,169,207]

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