Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or choose a plant family:
Mahonia fremontii (Fremont's mahonia)
Cressler, Alan

Mahonia fremontii

Mahonia fremontii (Torr.) Fedde

Fremont's Mahonia, Desert Oregon-grape, Fremont Barberry, Holly Grape

Berberidaceae (Barberry Family)

Synonym(s): Berberis fremontii, Berberis higginsiae, Mahonia higginsiae, Odostemon fremontii

USDA Symbol: mafr3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A roundish shrub, 3-8 ft. with stiff, erect branches; showy yellow flowers; blue-green, prickly foliage and yellow to red berries.

This plant is susceptible to diseases and so is considered undesirable in agricultural areas, where it can spread disease to crop plants.


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Fruit: Yellow or red to brown 12-18 mm
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AZ , CA , CO , NM , NV , UT
Native Distribution: W. CO, UT, NM, n. AZ & rare in Mohave Desert
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky, pinyon/juniper areas 3000-5000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Occasionally reaches tree size. Drought-resistant. Considered a menace in cereal-raising areas as it is a host for wheat rust.


Description: Increase is possible with seed, layers or cuttings.
Seed Collection: Ripe fruits may be pick by hand, using heavy gloves, or flailed onto cloth beneath the bushes. Seeds can be removed through maceration and flotation.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Additional resources

USDA: Find Mahonia fremontii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Mahonia fremontii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Mahonia fremontii


Record Modified: 2015-02-19
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back