Oregon Grape #434463 - Ask Extension

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Oregon Grape #434463

Asked November 13, 2017, 2:21 PM EST

is a Mahonia aquafolia 'Compacta' a dwarf variety of Mahonia aquafolia? If not, why not?

Multnomah County Oregon

Expert Response

Thank you for your question about Mahonia plants. A Mahonia aquifolium "Compactum" a small version of a Mahonia aquifolium. You can read about both of them here, which describes it as being "compact and slower-growing form to 3' tall."  Thank you for using Ask an Expert.
Kristena LaMar Replied November 13, 2017, 4:06 PM EST
But does the Compactum meet the horticultural definition of a Dwarf variety?
The Question Asker Replied November 13, 2017, 4:37 PM EST
It's a cultivar ("a plant variety that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding"). The difference between "cultivar" and "variety" is explained here. Arizona Extension describes this cultivar as follows:  The most popular Oregon grape cultivar is dwarf Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium‘Compacta’) which resembles regular Oregon grape but is half as tall and quicker to spread by rhizomes. This is a good choice for smaller spaces where a mass of shiny, dark green foliage is desired."
Kristena LaMar Replied November 13, 2017, 5:44 PM EST
Thank you.
The Question Asker Replied November 13, 2017, 6:02 PM EST
You're welcome.  BTW, here's another article I found on the naming and classification of plants.
Kristena LaMar Replied November 13, 2017, 7:53 PM EST

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