Botanical Name: Mahonia repens
Common Name: Creeping Mahonia  
Plant photo of: Mahonia repens
Previous Photo     Next Photo

Water Saving Tip:

Check the soil's moisture level before watering.

You can reduce your water use 20-50% by regularly checking the soil before watering.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Broadleaf Evergreen, Shrub, Ground cover


Height Range



Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Bronze, Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season

Summer, Fall, Persistent


Half, Shade





Growth Rate

Moderate, Slow


Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam, Rocky, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH

Acid, Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors

Attracts Bees, Invasive, Thorns/Spines

Design Styles

English Cottage, Mediterranean, Ranch, Spanish, Woodland


Accenting Features

Fall Color, Fragrance, Showy Flowers


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Background, Shrub Border, Foundation, Raised Planter


Special Uses

Erosion Control, Mass Planting, Fire Resistant, Naturalizing, Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
  • Description

  • Notes

The creeping Mahonia is a low-growing shrub with a creeping habit, making it well suited as an understory groundcover. It grows about 12 to 15 inches tall and spreads 3 to 4 feet, though, due to its stoloniferous ways, will slowly spread wider. It has spiny, holly-like foliage that emerges red and matures to a dull green; though evergreen, leaves take on a bronzy-purple fall hue. Yellow, fragrant flowers bloom April and May, and are followed by berries that ripen purple in the fall and persist all winter. Exceptional four-season beauty. There are some planted at the Greater Avenues Water Conservation Garden.
Grow in well drained soil and part to full shade. When planted in full sun, it invariably experiences scorch by mid-summer. Grows in any soil but prefers soils high in organic content. Once established it requires only periodic watering; more drought tolerant than M aquifolium. Spreads by stolons and so can form a colony; a useful trait if planned for. This is an essential species for providing native bee species with pollen and nectar.