Red Japanese barberry

Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea

Photo/Illustration: 
Daryl Beyers
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Red Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea)
BER-ber-iss thun-BER-jee-eye forma at-tro-per-per-EE-ah
Genus:  Berberis
Red Japanese barberry is a deciduous shrub with multi-season interest. Most striking are the deep reddish purple inch-long leaves. In spring, scented yellow flowers appear on arching stems. This barberry is an excellent hedge pland, and it also looks good in the middle to rear of beds and borders. Watch out for the brittle, three-pronged thorns. -Gerald Gibbens, Regional Picks: Northwest, Fine Gardening issue#120
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Reddish purple leaves; fragrant flowers; thorny stems. Japanese barberry is listed as an invasive plant for much of the U.S.
Care:  Provide full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Each year, before new growth appears, prune on the oldest stems to maintain the plant's proportions. Beware of the thorns.
Problems:  Nothing serious.

Overview

Height
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Spread
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Pace
Invasive/Aggressive Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Dry to Medium
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Attracts Birds,
Fragrant Flowers,
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Early Spring,
Late Spring,
Spring
Flower Color
Yellow Flower
Foliage Color
Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Hedge
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Shrubs

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