Lucy: Hey Jonah! Have you ever wondered what the marvelous shrub next to the bike racks is?
Jonah: Why yes Lucy, yes I have, what is that marvelous shrub? I have often thrown is wonderful berries at you only to wonder what exactly what I was throwing.
Lucy: Yes. I quite remember that. The shrub is called the Oregon Grape and if you want to know more about those berries, I am willing inform you.
Jonah: The Oregon Grape?!?!?! The same grapes thou squeezith to make the wine that passes through mine lips?
Lucy: Heck no Fu! But the grapes are HECKA edible! You can eat them dried, cooked, raw or even as jelly. They do taste awfully bitter raw though.
Jonah: Oh yeah. I tried them once when my stomach hurt they were rather bitter..but after I finished chewing I was healed! Are they magical?
Lucy: Oh Jonah don’t be daft. Of course they’re not magic. However, they are capable of helping stomachaches. The bark even helps with digestion!
Jonah: Boy howdy Lucy! That’s dang cool. What else can you tell me about the Oregon Grape?
Lucy: Well Jonah, it’s a dicot.
Jonah: It has apricots too?!
Lucy: No crazy, that means the seed has two separate parts…similar to a peanut.
Jonah: I do like peanuts! Where can I grow this amazing plant?
Lucy: I’m glad you asked! The Oregon Grape can be found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.
Jonah: Dang, I live in Davis, I can’t grow one. *SOBS*
Lucy: Well Davis is in Northern California, but that’s not important. The Oregon Grape can survive in a multitude of conditions including direct sun, shade, and basically any type of soil including most, sand and clay. So never fear, you can grow it in Davis.
Jonah: DUUUUUUUUUUUDE! KILLER COOL! So…I have this problem ..with fire…I start them a lot.
Lucy: Uhmmm…thanks for the information… random much? Oh well, now that you mentioned it, the Oregon Grape plant can even survive your arsenery. It has adapted to fire over the years so that a new plant sprouts from the dormant buds on the rhizomes.
Jonah: oh..ok..awesome. How come during the spring it is yellow and doesn’t have berries?
Lucy: Oh those are its flowers they blookm up until early May. You can even make a lemonade like drink out of it. You should go make some… like now.
Jonah: But Im not nearly don’t being leaned about that marvelous shrub!
Lucy: Well Ill tell you what Jonah, why don’t you go research the other species of Mahonia plants (or Oregon Grapes) such as Mahonia repens which is known as the Creeping Oregon Grape and Mahonia nervosa which is known as the Dwarf Oregon Grape. If that still doesn’t satisfy you, you can look at the Oregongrape2 site under DHSplants on wikispaces.com. I heard it was made but one cool chicka.
Jonah: AY AY CAPITAN!