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Mahonia x media 'Charity' October 23rd.

Valuable flowering evergreen, which has striking - if unkindly - foliage. The racemes of yellow flowers are sweetly scented from Late Oct on. Good in floral arrangements. Sun or shade, any soil, and will tolerate dry conditions. Ht 2m with similar spread. Can be cut back hard in early spring.

Mahonia Charity is one of the most popular of this type of Mahonia - large leaved evergreens with palmate leaves and flowers held in clusters above the foliage - mostly.

The pinnate leaves of this variety, are the usual glossy dark green in colour. Pinnate leaves are sharply toothed, and almost palm-like on mature plants. The foliage - as with the rest of the plant - is totally hardy, and can be quite spectacular even without the flowers.

 Branches normally sprout from the base or ground level, and are often bare except for the terminal clusters of leaves.

The rich yellow flowers - which start in mid October - are tightly clustered at first, but open out into arching racemes of very sweetly scented. Flowering period can vary from year to year, but normally starts early October for the showy buds - dependent on whether grown in full sun or shade.

Mahonia x media group, can be planted in full sun, semi shade or even woodland settings. It is very tolerant of dry conditions, and aspect that makes it the more valuable. Often reaches 1.5 metres, but can be cut back quite hard in the spring - without loss of the next winter flowers if done early enough. Can suffer in hard winters if in an exposed position, but normally shoots from or near ground level.

Mahonia x media Charity can also make a good contained shrub. It will need a big pot, but can be under-planted around the base of stems to form a spectacular display.

Pruning Mahonias

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