Thursday, February 16, 2012

Foliage Follow-up - 2/12

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...

16 comments:

  1. The colors are very interesting in winter. I like the blue green of this plant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a nice one...in better light, it looks bluer, but gloomy that day.

      Delete
  2. As soon as it starts to warm up, we get concerned about the Death Star.

    That is good color on that native plant. So many different forms for Mahonia. Funny about Algerita, I used to pull it out until I realized it belongs here more than the other plants I'm bringing in so I'll let it grow along the woods and fences out back and maybe I'll get even more native birds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I were a cartoonist, I would draw something with the Death Star, Pam/Digging running for cover, and some oaks and agaves!

      Your algerita sounds like a nice size like the one posted here. Our's gets 12'x 12', almost like a tree! The birds love that plant...I guess great protection and berries? Glad you keep yours, esp since it is not available ike it should be.

      Delete
  3. Ah, yes...the good ole Death Star. It's always lurking.

    I like this plant. It does remind of the Algerita...or Agarita, as I learned it. We do have a lot of that around here. I'd love to move some up to a bed. But, I've heard it doesn't like to be moved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has many names, and hopefully like here, our respective native species will be made more available. Like cacti, agaves, sotols, spines and thorns are OK on plants, just placed at a distance. I think people need to embrace better what turns off most deer, rabbits, etc!

      Delete
  4. I love agarita (as I call it) and keep meaning to plant a few in my garden... Your version is a stunner with that blue-green and plum winter coloring. Does it have the typical yellow mahonia blooms?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agarita is a name for your plant, that I hear even more...I always forget that one. It does have yellow blooms (probably soon in Abq, in a few weeks up in Fantase)

      Delete
  5. Such a sticky proposition! About three years ago I planted about 40 to 50 Berberis trifoliolata around a electrical utility area after a attempt to steal copper went bad. I kept them watered the first year and after that they were on their own. Today most of them are fine. It's amazing considering the drought and all. A spiky Quercus hinckleyi hybrid and a Yucca treculeana were added to keep the bums away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jaja! That is great you could find that many, but just as good you scared off some thieves. Seeing that plant around Carlsbad NM means very tough, drought-tolerant! Great additions on the others...a well-placed yucca or cactus must really seal the deal on "back off".

      Delete
  6. I would totally have mistaken that for Holly, had I not been told differently! Love that plum coloring...wonder if it would do well in PDX?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet it will do fine in PDX...it is fine with and needs some winter moisture, and takes hot summers. I remember it near Moab and in western Colo. I bet Forest Farm has it!

      Delete
  7. When I saw the first picture I thought you were posting one of those garden blogger posts where the gardener talks about things that didn't make it. I am amazed that there is a species that will live in the desert. The mahonias I am familiar with dwell in shaded gardens the see a fair amount of rain, but come to think of it they are remarkable drought tolerant. They have to be to put up with root system from mature trees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting! Yes, the (3) mahonias native in warmer, drier parts of NM are definitely sun-loving (and underused). One shade-lover (B. repens in the high mtns) and the NW mahonias struggle even in shade. But the drought-tolerance is amazing in their respective climes...esp the desert ones here. Great points!

      Delete
  8. Fascinating plant - does it have a flower like other Mahonias?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, B. fremontii has a similar yellow flower to other mahonias, I think with a pleasant sweet smell. So do the other (2) desert mahonias. Thanks for visiting, too!

      Delete

Thanks for visiting! I try responding to comments within a few days, though my day job can call. Comments now require word-verification, thanks to evil spammers...