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Mahonia (repens)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Berberidaceae
Family Common Name: Barberry family
Scientific Name: Mahonia repens (Lindl.)G. Don
Common Synonym: Berberis repens Lindl.
Common Name: Creeping Oregon Grape
Species Code: MAHREP
Ecotype: Lodgepole Forest, 1000m elev. West Glacier, Gl
General Distribution: M. repens is found from eastern Washington south to northeastern California, east to Alberta, South Dakota, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada; in foothills and lower montane forest, from near sea level to 3050 meters elevation. It grows on a variety of soils, including coarse, rocky soils and glacial outwash. Soils range from well to poorly drained.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 490 ml containers
Time To Grow: 18 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 7 cm<br> Caliper: 9 mm of main stem<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Oregon grape can be propagated by heel, nodal, and tip cuttings. Vegetative regeneration via rhizomes appears to be the most prevalent mode of regeneration follwing fire or other disturbances.
Method: Pre-Rooting.
Type of Cutting:
1. Spring Hardwood tip cuttings with basal wood
2. Summer Softwood tip cuttings with basal wood
Hardwood tip cuttings are collected in April to early May, Softwood tip cuttings are collected from late May to mid June from healthy disease free plants growing on forest margin in full sun exposure.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings were kept moist and refrigerated at 3C prior to pretreatment for 24 hours.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Both hardwood and softwood tip cuttings were cut into 10 to 15 cm lengths, 0.5 to 0.7 cm diameter, with a section of basal wood; 1/3 of leaves removed from the base of stem, and treated with 1000 ppm Domain fungicide rinse for 2 minutes. Cuttings were then treated with 1000 or 2000 ppm liquid IBA rooting hormone. Cuttings were placed in outdoor mistbed with bottom heat maintained at 21C.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
The outdoor mistbed has automatic intermittent mist that is applied at 6 second intervals every 6 minutes. Too frequent misting will result in leaf and stem rot. Bottom heat is maintained at 21 C with heating cables 12 cm beneath rooting media. Rooting media is 50% perlite and 50% sand. Mistbed is covered with shadecloth during rooting.
Establishment Phase: Hardwood cuttings with 1000 ppm IBA had 57% to 80% rooting.
Softwood Cuttings with 1000 ppm IBA had 20% to 56% rooting.
Time to Transplant: 5 to 8 weeks in mist bed.
Length of Establishment Phase: 8 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings have rooted, they are potted into 490 ml containers using 50% 6:1:1 milled spaghnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite and 50% sand with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S ,0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 2 grams of Osmocote and 0.85 gram of Micromax per 490 ml conetainer. Cuttings are grown in the shade house throughout the active growth phase. Care should be given not to overwater rooted cuttings. Allow media to dry to 50% dry weight between irrigation applications.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 weeks
Hardening Phase: Cuttings are moved to full sun exposure in early fall and given 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm weekly until mid October. Irrigation is gradually reduced. Plants are given one final irrigation prior to overwintering.
Length of Hardening Phase: 8 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 1.6 years
Harvest Date:September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: M. repens is a good revegetation species that is heat and drought tolerant. It is considered a climax dominant species and establishes in shade and sun. Berries are a food source to many species of birds and deer and elk browse the leaves during the winter months.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, University of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1981.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in the United States, Agriculture Handbook No. 450, U.S.F.S., Washington D.C., 1974.
Seeds of Woody Plants in North America, Young and Young, Dioscorides Press, 1992.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition, Deno, N., published June, 1993.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
1996 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J., Lamb, B. and Funk, T. unpublished.
1998 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J and Kimball, S., unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Potter, Rachel; Wick, Dale; Keating, Rosemary. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Mahonia repens (Lindl.)G. Don plants 490 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/11/28). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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