NATIVE RANGE: East Asia (China)
FIRST FINDING IN SLOVENIA: year unknown
PATHWAYS: ornamental plant, planted in the forest; seeds secondary spread by birds
POSSIBLE TO FIND: year-round
FLOWERING SEASON: February-April
DESCRIPTION: A shrub or small tree with leathery, spined leaves. Each leaf consists of 9-15 leaflets, each of which has 5-9 strong spines along the leaf edge.
HABITAT: Open forests, in its native range also reported from riverine forests and roadsides, up to an altitude of 2000m.
STATUS IN SLOVENIA: Locally established in the lower Vipava valley (Panovec forest). At this location, it has increased rapidly but is currently under eradication.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Oregon grape Mahonia aquifolium has smaller, less thick leaves which consist of 5-7 (up to 13) leaflets, each of which has 6-13 small spines along the leaf edge. The native Holly, Ilex aquifolium has single, undivided leaves.