|The Chinese mahonia has evergreen, pinnately compound foliage, composed of 5-9 leaflets with forward slanting teeth or spikes. Though this is quite dramatic sounding, in reality, the overall look is fern-like and compact. In protected areas, this plant may reach 5 or 6 feet tall, however 3 feet seems to be the norm in drafty areas. Some say the showy, yellow, March or April flowers have an unpleasant odor, but if it doesn't bother you, it very much worth the purplish-black fruits the plant will yeild. We feel this is the best mahonia for warmer areas.