Mahonia fortunei

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Mahonia fortunei
Mahonia fortunei.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Mahonia
Species: M. fortunei
Binomial name
Mahonia fortunei

Berberis fortunei Lindl.

Mahonia fortunei is a species of shrubs in the family Berberidaceae, the barberry family, described as a species in 1846.[2][3] It is endemic to China, found in the provinces of Chongqing, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, and Zhejiang.[1][4] It is grown as an ornamental in many lands, with common names including Chinese mahonia, Fortune's mahonia, and holly grape.[5]

Some authorities place the genus Mahonia in Berberis because there is no definite morphological distinction between the two genera. The subject awaits in-depth genetic analysis.[6]


This is an evergreen shrub that usually grows up to 2 meters tall, but sometimes reaches 4 meters. It is upright, spreading, and somewhat rounded. It has a slow to moderate rate of growth and a moderate density. The leaves are odd-pinnately compound and alternately arranged.[7] They are dull to dark green on top and pale yellowish green on the undersides. The blades measure up to 28 centimeters long by 18 wide. The foliage is borne in bunches at the stem tips. The inflorescence is a raceme with 4 to 10 fascicles of yellow flowers.[4] The flowers have a sweet scent and are insect-pollinated.[7] The fruit is a rounded purple-blue berry about half a centimeter long.[4] The fruit is edible and acidic in flavor but it has numerous seeds. It can be eaten cooked or raw and contains a good amount of vitamin C.[7]


This and many other related species contain the alkaloid berberine,[8] a chemical being studied for its therapeutic potential.[9]


This species is widely cultivated in China and in other places, such as Indonesia, Japan, and United States.[4]

This species is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens. It has multicolored leaves and yellow flowers. The fruits attract birds. It does not tend to have pests, and it is heat-tolerant.[7]

It makes an adequate hedge and it can be confined to a container for use as a houseplant.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Berberis fortunei". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. ^ Lindley, John. 1846. Journal of the Horticultural Society of London 1: 231
  3. ^ Fedde, Friedrich Karl Georg. 1901. Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 31(1-2): 130
  4. ^ a b c d 十大功劳 shi da gong lao Mahonia fortunei. Flora of China.
  5. ^ a b Mahonia fortunei. FloriData.
  6. ^ "Berberis Linnaeus". Flora of North America.
  7. ^ a b c d Gilman, E. F. Mahonia fortunei. University of Florida Cooperative Extension, IFAS. Fact Sheet FPS-377. 1999.
  8. ^ Mills, S. J. and K. Bone, contributors. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. Elsevier Health Sciences. 2005. pg. 257.
  9. ^ Kulkarni, S. K. and A. Dhir. (2010). Berberine: a plant alkaloid with therapeutic potential for central nervous system disorders. Phytotherapy Research 24(3) 317-24.