Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Mahonia pinnata Fedde

Closely related to Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt., which see, although I have treated them separately here.  Fully hardy evergreen shrub with prickly leaves and racemes of yellow flowers in late winter or spring.  To 3m.  [RHSD, Hilliers’, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The introduction of this highly ornamental shrub [Berberis pinnata] is due to Mr. Lambert, who raised it from seed sent to him by Prof. Lagasca from the Botanic Garden at Madrid, where it had been obtained from seed collected at Monterey, on the coast of California, by Don Louis Neé, the naturalist of the expedition under the command of the ill-fated Malespina. […] Two plants of the shrub are now (March) covered with their golden fragrant blossom in the greenhouse at Boyton.’  [BR f.702/1823]. 

‘This fine evergreen shrub flowered at Boyton for the first time in this country, in February last. […] We are much inclined to think, that our plant was the same species as Berberis Aquifolium of Pursh; but it is described as an upright shrub five or six feet high; wheras the latter is said to be an under shrub, about a foot high, with procumbent branches.’  [BM t.2396/1823].  Introduced to Britain in 1819.  [PD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.149/1843].


Published Feb 26, 2009 - 05:22 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 05:15 PM

Illustrated are the holly-like leaves and terminal racemes of yellow flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2396, 1823.

Mahonia pinnata Fedde | BM t.2396/1823 | BHL

Family Berberidaceae
Region of origin

Western North America

  • Berberis fascicularis Sims
  • Berberis pinnata Banks ex DC.
  • Mahonia fascicularis DC.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Berberis fascicularis 

Confidence level high