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Winter Sun Grape Holly

Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun'

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Winter Sun Grape Holly (Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun') at Shonnard's Nursery

Winter Sun Grape Holly

Winter Sun Grape Holly

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Barberry


Bold clusters of bright yellow flowers during winter and light blue, edible berries make this shrub a wonderful addition to the landscape; lustrous dark green foliage resembles the spiny leaves of a holly; plant it where it will receive some snow cover

Ornamental Features

Winter Sun Grape Holly has attractive dark green foliage with light green veins on a plant with an upright spreading habit of growth. The spiny oval pinnately compound leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding purple in the fall, which persists throughout the winter. It features bold racemes of fragrant yellow flowers rising above the foliage from late winter to early spring. It produces powder blue berries from early to mid summer.

Landscape Attributes

Winter Sun Grape Holly is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering
  • Disease

Winter Sun Grape Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Winter Sun Grape Holly will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in partial shade to shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Garden  Groundcover  Naturalizing 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features