Around the Yard – Five

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape Mahonia nervosa

Natural.  Barberry family. Wild, common coastal evergreen shrub to 2’ high grows throughout the woods.
Flowers: yellow in clusters.  Blooming May-June.
Fruit: Look like tiny concord grapes with waxy hue on a holly bush. Acid, sweeter after first frost.
Leaves: Rich glossy green with nine to nineteen holly-like leaflets
Fruit used for jelly combined with salal berries.  Cold tea good bitter tonic. 
Flower buds, blossoms and berries all edible. 
Root and bark for impure blood, syphilis, poor digestion, coughs. 
Bark decoction for sores on skin and in mouth, loaded with Vitamin C. 
The inner bark of stems and roots a source of brilliant yellow dye. Dark green, violet and dark blue-purple dyes are obtained from the fruit . A green dye is obtained from the leaves.
An alkaloid called berberine, is known to possess antibiotic properties that are still used to combat internal and external infections. 
An extract concocted from the roots is used by modern day herbalists to correct a wide range of liver, kidney and urinary tract problems.

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