Fremont Mahonia*

Mahonia fremontii

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Fremont Mahonia (Mahonia fremontii) at Millcreek Gardens

Fremont Mahonia foliage

Fremont Mahonia foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

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

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  7b

Other Names:  Desert Mahonia, Barberry, Berberis


A mounded shrub with leathery, sharp holly-shaped leaves; showy yellow flowers in spring and attractive yellow grape-like fruit in late summer; regular pruning keeps this shrub dense and full

Ornamental Features

Fremont Mahonia is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent chartreuse berries from mid summer to early fall. It has attractive green foliage which emerges burgundy in spring. The spiny pinnately compound leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding coppery-bronze in the fall. It features showy racemes of fragrant yellow flowers hanging below the branches in early spring.

Landscape Attributes

Fremont Mahonia is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Fremont Mahonia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Fremont Mahonia will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.


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

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features