Fremont Mahonia / Berberis fremontii, this Monday up in Santa Fe.
This is a broadleaf evergreen shrub native to the Colorado Plateau, to my NW. And the winter color is divine, so is its' low water-usage.
Some leaves stay blue-green:
Others get a nice plum cast to them:
And all have spiky good looks, so necessary in the southwestern garden, reminiscent of such plants as the more mesic hollies found in my city's oasis gardens, or foothills native Shrub Live Oak / Quercus turbinella.
Fremont Mahonia is related to the larger, bright green Algerita / Berberis hemeatocarpa, found in my area between 6000' and 7000' elevation. It is also closely related to Agritos / Berberis trifoliata, found from SE New Mexico deep into central Texas, at lower elevations.
Thanks to Pam for hosting more foliar interest - click here. Visit her blog for more related posts, lest the Death Star visits you soon...