Creeping Oregon Grape

(Mahonia repens)

Important ID's

  • Ground hugging evergreen
  • Holly-like compound leaves
  • Yellow flowers
  • Dark purple fruit (berries)

 

Animal Use

  • Ground squirrels, chipmunks and many bird species like this fruit

 

Human Use

  • Little evidence exists of anyone gathering it in quantity for food but the berries have been used as a natural dye.

 

Oregon Grape is a very amenable wild food as it lacks the astringency that many other berries have and it does not require cooking to temper it. It's tartness makes a delicious wild jelly using any typical grape jelly recipe. Cultivated Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolian) (aka Shining Mahana) can also be used to these ends.

Berries mature in late August - early September.

 

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