Overview

Brief Summary

Description

Leatherleaf mahonia is native to China. It has been planted as an ornamental and is invading woodlands in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states. It is an evergreen shrub that grows 5-10 ft. tall. The unusual leaves are pinnately compound, about 18 in. long with 9-13 paired, glossy holly-like leaflets. The leaflet margins have 2-7 teeth per side that are about ¼ in. or less in length. Leaflets are very thick and stiff. Flowering occurs in early spring. Fragrant yellow flowers emerge from the tips of the plant in attractive spike-like sprigs. The fruits are green berries that turn bluish black with a grayish bloom. Fruits hang in grapelike clusters.

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Distribution

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Berberis bealei Fortune:
China (Asia)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Mahonia bealei (Fortune) Carrière:
Japan (Asia)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
United States (North America)
China (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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introduced; Ala., Ga., N.C., Va.; native, Asia (China).
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Shrubs , evergreen, 1-2 m. Stems monomorphic, without short axillary shoots. Bark of 2d-year stems tan, glabrous. Bud scales 11-13 mm, persistent. Spines absent. Leaves 5-9-foliolate; petioles 2-8 cm. Leaflet blades thick and rigid; surfaces abaxially smooth, shiny, adaxially dull, gray-green; terminal leaflet stalked, blade 6.5-9.3 × 4-7 cm, 1.3-2.3 times as long as wide; lateral leaflet blades ovate or lance-ovate, 4-6-veined from base, base truncate or weakly cordate, margins plane, toothed, with 2-7 teeth 3-8 mm tipped with spines to 1.4-4 × 0.3-0.6 mm, apex acuminate. Inflorescences racemose, dense, 70-150-flowered, 5-17 cm; bracteoles ± corky, apex rounded to acute. Berries dark blue, glaucous, oblong-ovoid, 9-12 mm, juicy, solid.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Mahonia bealei (Fortune) Carrière
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Ecology

Habitat

Open woodlands and shrublands; 100-500m.
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Comments: Woodlands and shrub borders (Radford et al, 1968).

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Associations

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Cumminsiella mirabilissima parasitises live leaf of Mahonia bealei
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Puccinia graminis parasitises live leaf of Mahonia bealei
Other: minor host/prey

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering fall-winter (Dec-Mar).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Reasons: Native of Japan.

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Wikipedia

Mahonia bealei

Mahonia bealei is a shrub native to mainland China (Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang).[3] The species has sometimes been regarded as the same species as Mahonia japonica, native to Taiwan, but the two differ consistently in certain floral and leaf characters. Both species are widely cultivated in many countries as ornamentals. Mahonia bealei has reportedly escaped cultivation and become established in the wild in scattered places in the southeastern United States from Arkansas to Florida to Delaware.[4][5]

Mahonia bealei is a shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall. Leaves are up to 50 cm long, with 4-10 [pairs of leaflets, plus a much larger terminal leaflet. Flowers are borne in an erect raceme up to 30 cm long. Berry is egg-shaped, dark purple up to 15 mm long.[3][6][7][8]

References[edit]

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Notes

Comments

Berberis bealei is commonly cultivated; although it rarely escapes, it is locally naturalized in the southeastern United States. It is resistant to infection by Puccinia graminis .
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