Is this a weed? New to the area!

bosewichte(7a/8b)November 27, 2012

I just moved to South Carolina and have noticed these strange bushes sprouted up all over our property. They have a stretch of bare, spindly trunk, then a bunch of shiny, stiff, flat leaves that vaguely remind me of holly, and a strange asparagus-like growth coming out of the top of the bunch of leaves.

At first I thought they were some kind of holly bush, which we also have on the property, but I've noticed them growing in places where one finds weeds, like out of the side of a low rock wall.

Anyone know what it is? Thanks!

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Mahonia. Although there are some species native to the western USA, most Mahonias sold commercially are from the Asian stock and have become invasive in parts of the country here. Check your state's listing.

They do have yellow flowers in the dead of winter, and the scent is wonderful, at least, on the ones I have been around. Although I prefer natives, I have not been able to force myself to get rid of the few I have because I enjoy the special winter show they bring.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Thank you so much! I'm going to read up on it!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:54PM
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Enjoy the flowers but destroy the berries - that is one way to manage their invasiveness. I pull out about 10 seedlings a year from my yard thanks to my neighbors' plants.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:19PM
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joraines(7 Upstate SC)

Gosh! I wish I had Mahonia's popping up everywhere! I want to get one and though I read they like some shade from our hot, blistering summer heat, I do see them in full sun around here. And another shrub that some say can be invasive is Nandina. I'm 50 and have lived here all my life and never heard them called Heavenly Bamboo but several gardening books and magazines refer to them that way! They can invade around here. I love therm.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:20AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I like the slate blue ovoid berries of mahonia. Mine (at property #1) was rescued (ha..pulled out bare root) from the
forest behind my yard and took immediately to a bright morning sun/house shaded afternoon spot.
Nandina, the old taller variety, I have lots of at the current location and their only benefit is the red berries and that they are evergreen.
I prefer the nandina varieties that are dwarf and color up bright red in winter to front the hollies and boxwoods for contrast.
I'd keep the mahonia so long as you can keep it in mostly shade but I'd pull that one out of the rock wall or snip and paint with brush killer.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:54AM
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