Interesting Facts

Mahonia aquifolium has many different and unique traits, and one interesting fact is that it has a high chemical pollutant tolerance which makes it a plant used in urban landscaping. The berries of the Oregon Grape are used as natural colorants and also can be made into jelly. Until 2007, the Hungarian government encouraged farmers to grow M. aquifolium for ornamental purposes by subsidizing the establishment of new plantations. The genus name honors Irish-American pioneer nurseryman Bernard McMahon (1775-1816), who was a close friend to Thomas Jefferson, who was a radical gardener for much longer than he was a president. Thomas Jefferson's gardens persisting at Montecello to this day include much that was provided to Jefferson by McMahon.Thomas Jefferson's House (Monticello) with flowers: Courtesy of mikebaudio Bernard McMahon became curator over the seeds and plants gathered in the west during the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

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