University of Florida

Leatherleaf Mahonia

Leatherleaf mahonia is a unique plant that looks like it could come from a Dr. Seuss book. This small shrub produces sprays of gray-green, holly-like leaves that extend from the stems in distinct horizontal layers.

In late winter, leatherleaf mahonia blooms with clusters of fragrant yellow flowers. By summer, these mature into small grape-like fruits that birds love to feed on.

Leatherleaf mahonia can be planted in North or Central Florida in full or partial shade, and should be watered until established. After that, this Florida-Friendly plant should be drought tolerant. Create a denser shrub by pruning back the tallest stems in early spring to encourage new growth at the base.

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