Planting and Growing the Creeping Barberry

The creeping barberry is also known as the creeping Oregon-grape. Botanically it is known by either Mahonia repens or Berberis repens. It is a native plant to the United States and is a member of the barberry family of plants.

Creeping Barberry Description

Growing one to three feet high, this is a sprawling evergreen shrub. It has muted green leaves and yellow fragrant flowers. Leaves will be mauve, rose, then rust colored from fall to winter. The foliage is very holly-life. Flowers are small and in drooping racemes. Bloom season is between April and July. Berries are blue or purple.

Growing Guide

Plant this native in partial shade with a rich well-drained acidic soil. It is cold and drought tolerant. Propagate by root division, softwood cuttings, or by seed. Divisions will do well if taken in the spring or fall. Seed will need cold, warm, and then cold again stratification; 30 days each.


This shrub is seen throughout the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. It is typically in open woods and in higher elevations.


This is a wonderful groundcover for the landscape due to the foliage. It will need to be in a shaded cool climate to be used that way. It is a cover and a food source for small wildlife and for birds.

This can grow in a stiff form to be more shrub-like, or be sprawling to be more of a ground cover. Either way, it has nice leaves and berries to make an interesting display on a sloping hillside or in a meadow.

Source: NPIN

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