Berberis thunbergii
Japanese Barberry
 

A densely foliated shrub, it branches to the ground.
 
Small yellow flowers which are almost hidden by the foliage.
Mid-May
Leaves are small, 1 inch or less and quite variable in outline. Good green color in summer turns bright shades of red, orange-red and orange in autumn.
 
 
 
Bright red oval berries about ¾ inch long profusely produced along the branches persist throughout the winter
 
 
  • var. atropurpurea - With reddish leaves throughout the entire growing season

  • var. atropurpurea 'Red Bird' - leaves more red and more compact in growth than the var. atropurpurea

  • 'Crimson Pygmy' - often called 'Little Gem', 'Little Pygmy' or var. 'Atropurpurea nana' - dwarf, red-leaved variety. Only 2 feet tall with mounded in habit

  • 'Erecta' - True Hedge Columnberry - grows erect and is very compact.

  • 'Globe' - green leaves and a globe shape

  • 'Minor' - smaller in habit, foliage and fruit than the species, densely compact variety

  • 'Thornless' - Without thorns

  • 'Variegata' - With leaves variegated with spots of white, light gray and yellow.

 
 
Effective in all seasons. Tolerates dry as well as moist situations
  • B. atropurpurea - Redleaf Japanese Barberry. Similar to the species except the foliage is reddish-purple all season if grown in sunny places (green in shade).
     

  • B. erecta - Truehedge Columnberry. Upright habit of growth good for a narrow hedge.
     

  • B. minor - Box Barberry. Smaller than the species in all characteristics: height, foliage and fruit. Some nurseries are offering a dwarf red leaf strain called “Crimson Pygmy” which makes excellent low hedges.

 

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