Japanese Barberry



Japanese Barberry in the news

Dirty dozen? 

The News Journal - Jan 04 12:48 AM
Concern about nonnative plants is more common now than at any time during my 35 years in the landscape business. Sometimes invasive plants escape from your garden. They overgrow less vigorous native plants that wildlife depend on for their existence.
Keep Watch on Exotic Plants, Welcome or Not 
Washington Post - Dec 15 12:56 PM
Nonnative plants that have been introduced to the region might seem as if they belong here because they have thrived for many years, but they aren't what nature intended.

- Japanes Barberry

Here is an article on Japanese Barberry.

iBerberis thunbergii

Berberis thunbergii shoot with fruit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Berberis
Species: B. thunbergii
Binomial name
Berberis thunbergii

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry or Thunberg's Barberry) is Japnese Barberry a species of Berberis, native to Japan and eastern Asia.

It is a Jappanese Barberry dense, deciduous, Japanse Barberry spiny shrub which grows 1-2 (3) m high. It has deeply grooved, brown, spiny branches with a single (occasionally tridentine) spine (actually a highly Japannese Barberry modified leaf) at each shoot node. The leaves are green to Japanee Barberry blue-green, very small, spatula to oval shaped, 12-24 mm long and 3-15 Apanese Barberry mm broad; they are produced in clusters of 2-6 on a dwarf Japaese Barberry shoot in the axil of each spine. The Japamese Barberry flowers are pale yellow, 5-8 mm diameter, produced in drooping 1-1.5 cm long umbrella-shaped clusters of 2–5; flowering Japanesee Barberry is from mid spring to early summer. The fruit is a glossy bright red Japnaese Barberry to orange-red, ovoid berry 7-10 mm long and 4-7 mm broad, containing Jpanese Barberry a single seed. They mature during late summer and fall and persist through the winter.

Cultivation and uses

It is widely grown as an ornamental plant, both in Japan and elsewhere in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. Numerous cultivars have been selected, including plants selected for yellow, dark red to violet, or variegated foliage, erect growth (for hedge use), and dwarf size. In recent years it has become an invasive species in parts of the eastern United States; in Canada its cultivation is prohibited as the species can act as a host for Puccinia graminis (black rust), a rust disease of wheat. Currently there are breeding and selection programs aimed at producing cultivars that are either sterile or produce relatively little seed.

It is sometimes confused with Berberis canadensis (American Barberry), Berberis vulgaris (European Barberry), and other deciduous Berberis species; it is most readily distinguished by the flowers being produced in umbels, not racemes.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Berberis thunbergii
  • Flora of North America: Berberis thunbergii (deals with the species as an introduced plant)
  • US NAtional Park Service: Berberis thunbergii (deals with the species as an invasive species)
Search Term: "Berberis_thunbergii"