INPGA Native Plant Photo Album


Mahonia fremontii

Barberry Family (Berberidaceae)

A large shrub with prickly, hollylike compound leaves that are hard and evergreen, Fremont barberry is interesting in the landscape through the four seasons. In spring, the plants are covered with beautiful golden blossoms that are heavily honey-scented. These are followed by the hollow fruits that turn shades of pink and orange and look like little party balloons. These fruits are edible and quite tasty. The evergreen leaves add interest year round, as does the shreddy dark gray bark, and the growth form becomes quite rugged and sculptural as theplants grow older. Fremont barberry is mostly restricted to the foothill woodland communities of the Colorado Plateau part of our region, but it is broadly adapted and fully cold hardy, persisting with no problem in places as cold as Logan, Utah. It combines well with cliffrose, pinyon pine, and dwarf yucca. Plant it out of traffic—the spines on the leaves are wickedly sharp.

Fremont Barberry in gardenFremont Barberry in garden Fremont Barberry flowersFremont Barberry flowers Fremont Barberry berriesFremont Barberry berries Fremont Barberry in the wildFremont Barberry in the wild

Other names: Fremont's Mahonia, Utah Holly, Berberis fremontii

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