Mahonia aquifolium 'Apollo'
- Position: full or partial shade
- Soil: moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: March and April
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Providing year-round interest with its glossy green leaves, this handsome shrub also offers a bright splash of colour in spring, when the clusters of yellow flowers appear. Later, blue-black berries provide yet another decorative feature. A compact Oregon grape, it has a suckering habit, so forms a spreading dome that is useful for adding interest to a woodland floor or shady border. The leaves have a spiny edge, so they are great for deterring burglars (or unwanted animals), and they often take on a purplish flush in winter.
- Garden care: Every second year after flowering prune specimens grown as groundcover to just above ground level to encourage bushy growth and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.