Thursday, February 16, 2012

AGARITA


I'm sorry I missed seeing the agarita, Mahonia trifoliolata, blooming on Garden Boggers' Bloom Day because I'm sure it was. It is growing underneath a live oak tree down the side of the house and is often overlooked. In the shade they may grow a little rangy but in sun they form a rounded shrub. Even with only morning sun and under the oak tree this plant has lots of blooms with many more buds to open.


The agaritas I have are all growing outside the walls of my garden. They occur naturally. This is not a plant that is often found in the nurseries. The plant should be made more available to the gardener because, besides being low maintenance, it is also drought tolerant. It is evergreen and friendly to wildlife for the natural protection its holly-like leaves provide. The flowers are followed by small small berries which are a source of food for birds. Homesteaders would collect the berries by laying a sheet underneath the bush and hitting the bush until the berries fell off.

10 comments:

  1. I like agaritas too! :-)

    I just moved three wild agarita from the "outskirts" of my yard into my sunny backyard garden bed. I tried to find agarita at a couple of the local nurseries w/o success.

    After I moved mine, I read they don't transplant well, but the three seem to be okay so far, and they were moved over a month ago. Laura

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  2. Some other cool fact about the agarita is that the leaves are delicious, lemony and nice in salads...only pick the pink new leaves and chop them up fine! Mine are blooming too!

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  3. Anon-I once tried to move an agarita but even though it was tiny the roots ran deep. I hope you have luck with yours.
    Conscious gardener- How interesting. I must go out and pick a new leaf and see how it tastes.

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  4. Agarita and it's relatives need to be more available...guess that's my next business. What a striking plant that is sure to dazzle, if it just got a chance! Independent blogs could bring this and other overlooked plants into public demand, far ahead of mass media gatekeepers or cute name purveyors.

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  5. I love agarita as well. I have a couple of them at Zilker in the Green Garden. I moved one last year and it has transplanted well and is happy. I don't have any in my personal gardens as I had trouble finding them BS nursery carries them, but you have to put your name on their request list.

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  6. I found an agarita at our local botanical garden sale. I bought it as a tiny plant about 4 years ago. This year it is absolutely loaded with buds but none have opened here. We are a little behind Austin, being further West. I love those red berries on the green holly shaped leaves. Very festive and Christmas-y
    looking. I didn't know the plants were edible for people, too. Thanks!

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  7. I missed posting about the agarita blooms, too. I really like them. Sweet little yellow blooms, then the pretty red berries.
    And, best of all...the deer DON'T like them.
    I might try to move a small one and see what happens.

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  8. Ok I will have to go check on the ones we have here- I have never been a fan of them as when I have to move them or put them in carts for customers they tear up my arms!!!! But seeing the flowers on them... makes me like them a little more. I will have to go check them out. Can you believe this rain? Isn't it wonderful????

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  9. Very interesting stuff about the Agarita -- I'll have to go look at mine now -- I have then growing naturally in the woods like you. Your blooms are so pretty.

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  10. I'm not familiar with these - yours is very lovely.

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