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Monterey Bay Spice Company

Bulk Herbs & Spices

01.
Oregon grape root: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on oregon grape root

description
Mahonia aquifolium is a species of flowering plant in the family Berberidaceae and it grows to 1–2 m (3 ft 3 in–6 ft 7 in) tall by 1.5 m (5 ft) wide, with pinnate leaves up to 30 cm (12 in) long, each leaf made up of spiny leaflets. The leathery leaves resemble holly and the stems and twigs have a thickened, corky appearance. The flowers, borne in dense clusters in late spring, are yellow, and are followed by spherical dark dusty blue berries.

common names & nomenclature
The name aquifolium means "holly-leaved", in reference to the spiny foliage. The plant's berries resemble grapes, but are not true grapes, thus the common name Oregon grape.

Also known as:
oregon-grape, oregon grape, oregon grape holly


02.
Oregon grape root: Where in the World
habitat and range for oregon grape root

Mahonia aquifolium is a native plant in the North American West from Southeast Alaska to Northern California, and eastern Alberta to southern Colorado.

03.
Oregon grape root: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting oregon grape root

climate
Mahonia aquifolium often occur in the shady understory of Douglas-fir forests (although other forest types contain the species) and in brush lands in the Cascades, Rockies, and northern Sierras.

soil
This plant tolerates poor soils and can adapt to a wide range of soil conditions.

growing
Sow the ripe seed in the spring in a cold frame. Plant the seedlings into pots for their first winter, plant into the garden the next spring or summer.

harvesting
The roots are harvested in late autumn or early spring and dried for later use as either cut pieces or powder.

preserving
Store dried root pieces or powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

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