Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
a genus of plants of the family Berberidaceae. They are evergreen shrubs or small trees. The large leaves are oddpinnate, prickly, and leathery; the yellow flowers are gathered in racemes. There are more than 100 species, distributed in North and Central America, as well as in Asia from the Himalayas to Japan and Sumatra. The Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolia) is a shrub measuring up to 1 m tall, with shiny dark green leaves and bright yellow many-flowered terminal racemes. It grows wild in the western part of North America and is cultivated as an ornamental in the temperate belt of the northern hemisphere. In severe winters the Oregon grape freezes. In a number of species the mature fruits, dark blue berries with a gray bloom or down, are used in candies and baked goods.