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I have this thing growing up through an azelia. I know it has to go, but (esp. @Walter Reeves) what IS it? Anybody?

It looks kind of like a holly of some sort, but the leaves are more broad than any holly I've seen! Also, if you know what it is, just what are those berries going to do? Flower? Change color? Stain my clothes?

  • Margaret S
    Margaret S Marietta, GA
    on Mar 29, 2012

    I think it is Mahonia.

  • Deborah C
    Deborah C Durham, NC
    on Mar 29, 2012

    Yes it is a Mahonia.

  • Cultivators Design and Landscape
    Cultivators Design and Landscape Atlanta, GA
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Jason, Both Margaret and Deborah have it right! That's a Mahonia! They are pretty common plant here in GA. The berries will just fall off when they are ready to fall. It will flower a yellow bloom and to my knowledge i don't think the berries will stain unless they are crushed I am assuming. Hope this helps!

  • Caitlin M
    Caitlin M North Bend, WA
    on Mar 30, 2012

    I have one of those too. I don't know much about it. But, the flowers were there, then turn into berries. It grows long, yellow strands of small flowers that bloom late winter/early spring, add a nice color when most is still brown. But, mine is intruding on a well established rosemary bush which I prefer to keep. I look forward to hearing what others have to say about it, both good or bad.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    360 Sod (Donna Dixson) Buford, GA
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Some consider this to be a noxious weed as it is spread by birds eating the seeds. There are some really beautiful cultivars with very bright fragrant blooms.

  • Cultivators Design and Landscape
    Cultivators Design and Landscape Atlanta, GA
    on Mar 30, 2012

    "Soft Caress" Mahonia is a nice one!

  • Jason
    Jason Marietta, GA
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Thanks, everyone! Margaret was quick on the draw, but the information from Cultivators Design is very helpful. Even though it likely won't persist in my yard, I prefer a thorough understanding of what I'm keeping and what I'm eliminating before I take action!

  • Beth A
    Beth A Newton, AL
    on Mar 30, 2012

    It is a mahonia belei. I'll take it!!

  • Gladys H
    Gladys H Maggie Valley, NC
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Cool find.... I had to buy mine! Birds eat the berries and deposit the seeds. Cool freebie!!

  • Lisa D
    Lisa D Asheville, NC
    on Mar 30, 2012

    My grandad has 10 or more of these they are pretty and easy to care for, the berries just fall off and songbirds seem to love landing on this plant as it gets larger.

  • Laura S
    Laura S Pine Lake, GA
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Mahonia. You should move it to a place where you don't have to brush by it. It has very fierce stickers, but the smell of the flowers is heavenly.

  • Jhowell H
    Jhowell H Ocala, FL
    on Mar 30, 2012

    i don,tknow,but its beautiful.

  • Patricia W
    Patricia W Somersworth, NH
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Known as Grape Holly 'round here.

  • Patricia W
    Patricia W Somersworth, NH
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Always wanted one but it is marginally hardy where I live.

  • Julie F
    Julie F
    on Mar 30, 2012

    I live in central IN & have this weed coming up every year, it get's 7' tall

  • Darene P
    Darene P Knoxville, TN
    on Mar 30, 2012

    It is a leatherleaf mahonia. I think they're just beautiful. They grow really large, and have sharp points on the leaves like holly. I wish I could come dig it up for you. I'd bring it home with me. I love them.

  • Sue M
    Sue M Madison, AL
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Yes, it is mahonia bealei. They are really lovely. Maybe you can move it to a place of its own.

  • Patsy W
    Patsy W Smyrna, GA
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Mahonia...just move it.

  • Naomi J
    Naomi J Atlanta, GA
    on Mar 30, 2012

    Mahonia, the birds will clean off those berries in a matter of days

  • Jason
    Jason Marietta, GA
    on Mar 31, 2012

    Okay, okay! After enough of you have gushed over the beautiful mahonia, I'm not sure I'm just going to kill it off. Maybe there's a corner of the yard that could use a new plant. If anyone is in the Smyrna, Powder Springs, Marietta area and would like it for themselves, let me know. Also good to know: when is the best time for a transplant??? Keep in mind that digging this out will stress the mahonia and the intertwined azelia that I'm trying to keep!!!!

  • Caitlin M
    Caitlin M North Bend, WA
    on Mar 31, 2012

    Good question Jason! With all of these answers I still can't decide what to do about mine hovering over my rosemary...and the Mahonia is about 6ft tall. Would it be easier to move the rosemary, which is about 3x3ft?

  • Beth A
    Beth A Newton, AL
    on Mar 31, 2012

    Sometimes you just have to choose between damaging one desirable plant over another less desirable one. Even though many of us love Mahonia....its not a rare plant and would not be a great loss to just cut it down. If the azalea is the plant you want most, then protect it. Or...you can very carefully cut it out below the soil line...getting a few roots and pot it up until it can be given to someone or safely transplanted with healthy roots. Same with your Rosemary, Caitlin.

  • Jason
    Jason Marietta, GA
    on Mar 31, 2012

    Thanks, Beth! I'm goint to see how badly intertwined the roots are and then try your potting suggestion. If it survives my horrible gardening skills, I know I'll find a place for it!

  • Tara K
    Tara K
    on Jan 30, 2013

    Oregon grape is not only decorative, but useful. the berries can be picked for jelly. The variety growing in our area is hardy to Z3

  • Amanda
    Amanda Munfordville, KY
    on Mar 25, 2013

    This is an Oregon Gold Grape Holly. Wonderful Plants and quiet expensive. The need morning sun with shade in the hot afternoons. I had this plant and loved it!

  • Chesto48
    Chesto48 Irvington, AL
    on Aug 24, 2015

    I have several of these. Didn't know the name but very nice plant

  • Carey
    Carey Washtucna, WA
    on Sep 16, 2016

    I also have an oregon grape in my yard. I liked it at first and would have liked it much more in the fence row than in the middle of my flower bed. It got to big and I can't get it out!!

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