Berberis thunbergi--Japanese Barberry

By The Old House Web

Berberis thunbergi--Japanese Barberry

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Japanese barberry is thorny, so it's useful for barrier plantings. The plant tolerates most light exposures and soils, but purple-leaved cultivars turn green in shade. This shrub grows slowly but transplants easily. It grows 3 to 6 feet tall and spreads 4 to 7 feet. Japanese barberry can be sheared and used as a hedge plant. The main ornamental features are persistent red fruits and fall color in shades of red, orange and yellow. Some strains fruit more heavily than others. The plant produces yellow flowers, but these are not highly ornamental.

Several cultivars are listed: 'atropurpurea'--reddish foliage; 'atropurpurea erecta'--purple leaves, erect habit; 'atropurpurea Redbird'--better foliage color, leaves larger, more compact habit; 'aurea'--bright yellow leaves; 'Crimson Pygmy'--a dwarf 2 feet high and 3 feet across, with reddish foliage; 'Globe'--globe-shaped, broad; 'minor'--smaller leaves, fruit and flowers, rounded habit; 'Thornless'--no thorns; 'variegata'--leaves with spots of white, light gray and yellow.

Visuals associated with this text.

Visual title - Visual size Visual title - Visual size
Berberis thunbergi - 55K Berberis thunbergii - 64K
Berberis thunbergii - 51K Berberis thunbergii - 20K
Berberis thunbergii Crimson Pygmy - 53K Berberis thunbergii Rose Glow - 97K
Berberis thunbergii aurea - 92K
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