nervosa (Pursh) Nutt.
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound (oddly), alternate, persistent; 10 to 18 inches long, 11 to 21 broadly lanceolate leaflets each 2 to 3 inches long. Leaflets are dark, glossy green above and paler green below; thick, waxy cuticles and spined teeth along their margins; lateral leaflets are opposite and sessile, while the terminal leaflet has a petiole; leaflets lack a distinct midrib.
Flower: Perfect, small bright yellow flowers are borne in long, upright racemes.
Fruit: Small (3/16 inch), dark blue berries, edible, but sour.
Twig: Unbranched; compound leaves emerge directly from main stem. Main stem is stout and brown; leaves are clustered at the terminal end. Lanceolate bud scales persist for several years.
Bark: Reddish brown, scaly and rough.
Form: A short, erect, unbranched evergreen shrub seldom over 3 feet fall.
Looks like: creeping mahonia - tall Oregon-grape
Additional Range Information: Mahonia nervosa is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information