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Fremont Barberry
Berberis fremontii
About Fremont Barberry (Berberis fremontii) Nurseries Show All Photos Mahonia fremontii (syn. Berberis fremontii) is a species of barberry known by the common name Fr mont's mahonia (after John C. Fr mont). Mahonia fremontii is native to mountainous regions of the US states of Arizona, Nevada, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. It reaches a height of up to 3 m, and has pinnate leaves of 3-9 leaflets. Flowers are pale yellow, fruits ellipsoid and dull reddish-purple. The plant was named in honor of John C. Fremont. Mahonia fremontii is an erect evergreen shrub growing up to 4. 5 meters tall. The leaves are several centimeters long and are made up of several holly-leaf-shaped leaflets, each about 2 centimeters long and edged with spiny teeth. The leaves are purplish when new, green when mature, and greenish blue when aged. The abundant inflorescences each bear 8 to 12 bright yellow flowers, blooming generally in the spring but sometimes in the fall. Each flower is made up of nine sepals and six petals all arranged in whorls of three. The fruit is a berry up to 1. 5 centimeters wide, ranging in color from yellowish to purple to nearly black. Uses. The Zuni people use the crushed berries as a purple coloring for the skin and for objects employed in ceremonies.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
9.8 - 16 ft (3 - 4.9 m)


Flower Color
Yellow, Purple, Red

Flowering Season

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky slopes

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
2657' - 7337'

Annual Precip. ?
6.7" - 14.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.79" - 2.81"

Coldest Month ?
39.6° F - 48.8° F

Hottest Month ?
64.1° F - 74.5° F

Humidity ?
2.79 vpd - 25.08 vpd

Sunset Zones ?
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11, 12, 13, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Butterflies ?


Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. (USDA Forest Service 1974); 3 mos. stratification may improve germination.

Common uses
Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Mahonia fremonti

Common Names
Fremont's Mahonia

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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