Mahonia confusa is a evergreen shrub found in areas such as E. Asia - Western China in Guizhou, Hubei and Sichuan provinces. A member of the Berberidaceae family, Mahonia confusa Sprague does not go by a known (to us) common name. The shrub can grow to a height of 1.5 meters and up to 2 meters wide. The preferred habitat of Wet shady ravines and woods[260]., with LMH soil and FS moisture levels. .

The plant is a zone 7 hardy plant that has medicinal uses - the medicinal usage rating of is 2The leaf is used in the treatment of cancer[218]. A decoction of the root is febrifuge and odontalgic[218]. Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Mahonia species, has marked antibacterial effects[218] and is used as a bitter tonic[213]. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery[218]. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine[218]. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity[218]. The root and root bark are best harvested in the autumn[213].

Mahonia confusa is 1 plant, whose flowers bloom typically in 10 - 12, and which is pollinated by Insects.

The plant has an edibility rating of 4Fruit - raw or cooked. An acid but nice flavour and fairly juicy, it makes a pleasant nibble and is nice in other dishes, especially when added to muesli or porridge[K]. Unfortunately, there is relatively little flesh and
a lot of seeds[K]. The fruit ripens in early to mid spring, a time when little other fresh fruit is available in the garden[K].

Cultivation tips: An easily grown shrub, it thrives in any good garden soil[11] including heavy clays. The plant prefers a semi-shaded woodland position in a damp, slightly acid to neutral humus-rich soil[200]. Plants can tolerate temperatures down to about -10°c[260]. Only introduced to Britain in 1980, . The plant is growing so well here that within six years it was being distributed commercially from home-produced seedlings[11]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut right back into old wood if they have outgrown their welcome[182]. Closely related to M. fortunei[11]. It hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The flowers are very sweetly scented[184].

. The plant should best be propagated by Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[78]. It usually germinates in the spring[K]. 'Green' seed (harvested when the embryo has fully developed but before the seed case has dried) should be sown as soon as it is harvested and germinates within 6 weeks[K]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in late winter or spring. 3 weeks cold stratification will improve its germination, which should take place in 3 - 6 months at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their next winter. Division of suckers in spring[78]. Whilst they can be placed direct into their permanent positions, better results are achieved if they are potted up and placed in a frame until established[11]. Leaf cuttings in the autumn.

Fruit - raw or cooked. An acid but nice flavour and fairly juicy, it makes a pleasant nibble and is nice in other dishes, especially when added to muesli or porridge[K]. Unfortunately, there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds[K]. The fruit ripens in early to mid spring, a time when little other fresh fruit is available in the garden[K].