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Commonly known as Japanese barberry
Genus of about 450 evergreen and deciduous shrubs from all parts of the northern hemishere, northern and tropical Africa and South America differing widely in form and habit from dwarf species to large garden or hedging shrubs and usually with spiny branches or spine-tipped leaves.
Barberry fruit, rich in vitamin C was used in the past to make jellies, jams and pickles.
B. vulgaris is naturalised in the UK and was much-despised and destroyed in the 19th century as it is a secondary host of wheat rust.
It is being planted to safeguard the rare Barberry Carpet moth, its sole food plant.
Deciduousleaves to 3cm (1¼in) long.
Medium shrubTypically grow to around 4-6 feet in heightDense, rounded shrub. Produces yellow flowers in spring, followed by crimson leaves and berries in autumn.
Very hardyHardy in the severest continental climates including exposed upland locations in the UK. Plant can withstand temperatures < -20 (-4°F)
Additional FeaturesBerriesThese plants have berries.Pests & DiseasesAphids, powdery mildew.Place of originJapan.
Garden Location/ConditionsCoastal / windswept
(see photos above)
(see photos above)
Pruning groupPruning group 2Suitable for: Deciduous shrubs and trees that flower in Spring or early Summer on previous year's growth, including plants that produce new growth at or near ground level.
Pruning: Prune flowered shoots to strong buds. Cut back approximately 1/4 of old shoots to the base to promote replacement growth.
When: Annually, after flowering.
RHS groups 2 & 3
Soil ConditionsTolerates allAny well-drained soil.
WildlifeBee friendlyRabbit Resistant
BERBERIS thunbergii atropurpurea
BERBERIS thunbergii 'Admiration'
BERBERIS thunbergii 'Atropurpurea-nana'
BERBERIS thunbergii 'Aurea'
Buy Varieties of BERBERIS
bright orange flowers
dense evergreen with spiny prickles and scented yellow flowers. A good hedging plant
evergreen leaves and rich orange flowers
evergreen leaves and apricot orange flowers
yellow flowers, purple foliage, strong grower
white-glaucous arching stems, later purple. Grey-green leaves
green leaves changing to orange-red in autumn. Suitable for hedges
compact, low growing variety with lovely orange-red leaves with a yellow edge. Good orange autumn colour
best purple foliage berberis
dwarf purple berberis
bright gold foliage
deep reddish purple leaves on bright red stems
leaves of young shoots purple, mottled silvery pink and bright rose, becoming purple later
a wonderful species with long drooping racemes of saffron-yellow flowers and large leathery spineless leaves
leaves are dark green on top and grey-white underneath. Golden yellow flowers in late spring.
grey-green leaves brownish red in autumn. Coral-red berries