Mahonia trifoliolata

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Mahonia trifoliolata
Agarita, Agrito, Algerita (Mahonia trifoliolata).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Mahonia
Species: M. trifoliolata
Binomial name
Mahonia trifoliolata
(Moric.) Fedde
  • Berberis trifoliolata Moric.
  • Odostemon trifoliolatus (Moric.) A. Heller
  • Berberis trifoliolata var. glauca (I.M. Johnst.) M.C. Johnst. ex Laferr.
  • Mahonia trifoliolata var. glauca I.M. Johnst.

Mahonia trifoliolata is a species of flowering plant in the family Berberidaceae that is native to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the United States and northern Mexico as far south as Durango.[1] Common names include Agarita, Agrito, Algerita, Currant-of-Texas, Wild Currant, and Chaparral Berry. Several authorities consider the entire Mahonia genus as part of Berberis, in which case the scientific name becomes Berberis trifoliolata.[3][4][5][6]

Mahonia trifoliolata is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 6 ft (1.8 m) tall and wide. It is widely cultivated in desert regions. It is low maintenance, drought tolerant, and has a very high heat tolerance. The foliage is gray-green, and the leaflets have sharp points at the ends. The yellow flowers grow in clusters.[7]


The bright red edible fruits of the Agarita can be harvested around late April to early May. The fruits contain a slightly sweet and sour juice, when expelled the juice can be used to produce an Agarita wine or used simply as a fruit juice drink. The fruits also contain seeds and can be used to germinate new Agarita plants. The fruit is a red berry used in jellies.



  1. ^ a b "Taxon: Berberis trifoliolata Moric.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  2. ^ Tropicos Berberis trifoliolata
  3. ^ Flora of North America, vol 3.
  4. ^ Loconte, H., & J. R. Estes. 1989. Phylogenetic systematics of Berberidaceae and Ranunculales (Magnoliidae). Systematic Botany 14:565-579.
  5. ^ Marroquín, Jorge S., & Joseph E. Laferrière. 1997. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from Mahonia to Berberis. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 30(1):53-55.
  6. ^ Laferrière, Joseph E. 1997. Transfer of specific and infraspecific taxa from Mahonia to Berberis. Bot. Zhurn. 82(9):96-99.
  7. ^ I.M. Johnstone, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 31: 190. 1950.
  • Agarita from the Texas Native Plants Database

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