Mahonia aquifolium has multi-season interest and is a great plant for shade and works well in woodland gardens. It can also be used in sunnier sites and as a hedging substitute for pyramid cedars.
Evergreen, blue green leaves are spiny (like a holly) turning to bronze-purple tones in the winter. Yellow flowers are in dense racemes at branch tips. The fruit looks similar to small grapes and is produced in large bunches so it is easy to harvest. They are also attractive to birds and wildlife.