Jul. 24, 2018

Oregon grape, Berberis aquifolium

The Oregon state flower is Oregon grape. This species may have been chosen for its place in native and pioneer culture, as much as for its pretty flowers. The berries, which look very much like wild grapes, are still occasionally used in jelly. They can also be used to make wine. Either use requires a considerable amount of sugar. The berries provide purple die, and the bark makes yellow. The evergreen leaves are used for winter arrangements, much like holly. These small shrubs have become popular landscape ornamentals, as decorative in fruit as in flower. Native to the northwest, it has now been found in AK, CA, GA, ID, KY, MT, NJ, NY, OH, OR, WA, AB, BC, ON, and QC. Beal Gardens, MSU, 5/3/13.