Berberis repens (Creeping Oregon Grape) - photos and description




General: Low, woodland shrub with a trailing growth habit. Strongly rhizomatous.

Flowers: Flowers bright yellow in racemes. We measured a raceme at 5 cm long, and a flower at 12 mm diameter. Flowers quite fragrant.

Fruit: Is a juicy blue berry, giving its common name Creeping Oregon Grape.

Leaves: Leaves pinnate with 3 to 7 leaflets. The leaflets oblong to ovate, with spiny teeth along margins, glossy, glabrous, waxy to touch. We measured a typically-sized leaflet at 3 cm long by 2.5 cm wide, and a very large leaflet at 7.5 cm long by 4.5 cm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 30 cm, we measured plants to 20 cm tall.

Habitat: Coniferous woods in mountains and foothills, this plant has found a home at 4100 ft - 4400 ft elevation in the Cypress Hills.

Abundance: Extremely rare, ranked as an S1 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

To my knowledge as of 2016, this species has only been found in the province in one ravine in the Cypress Hills.

Origin: Native.

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Mahonia repens.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken June 3rd and June 6th, rich woods on the side of a shady ravine, Cypress Hills about 425 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.

Many of the above photographs were taken late in the afternoon between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in low light, was shooting shutter speeds of 1/5 to 1/8 of a second.