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Emei Shan Mahonia*

Mahonia gracilipes

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Emei Shan Mahonia (Mahonia gracilipes) at Alsip Home and Nursery

Emei Shan Mahonia

Emei Shan Mahonia

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6

Other Names:  Grape Holly


Dark green, lush foliage with contrasting light green veins and brilliant white undersides; spiny foliage resembles holly leaves and are tinged with purple in fall; airy sprays of yellow and red flowers; does best where it will receive some snow cover

Ornamental Features

Emei Shan Mahonia has attractive dark green foliage with white undersides and tinges of light green. The spiny oval pinnately compound leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding purple in the fall. It features airy racemes of fragrant lemon yellow flowers with red overtones rising above the foliage in mid spring. It produces powder blue berries from late summer to early fall.

Landscape Attributes

Emei Shan Mahonia is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely form and gracefully arching branches. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Emei Shan Mahonia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Emei Shan Mahonia will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in partial shade to shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Garden  Groundcover  Naturalizing 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features