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Invasive barberries to be phased out by Connecticut nurseries

‘Rose Glow’ is soon to be phased out of Connecticut nurseries
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
‘Rose Glow’ is soon to be phased out of Connecticut nurseries
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

The Connecticut Nursery & Landscape Association has decided to volutnarily phase out certain cultivars of Berberis thunbergii over the next few years. The move comes after growing concern about the invasiveness of the species and a seven-year study by the University of Connecticut. The study determined the seed count of various cultivars, and the CNLA chose to ban all but the bottom ten percent in terms of seed production.

Here is the list of banned cultivars:

  • ‘Angel Wings’
  • ‘Antares’
  • Burgundy Carousel® (‘Bailtwo’)
  • Cherry Bomb™ (‘Monomb’)
  • ‘Crimson Velvet’
  • Emerald Carousel® (‘Tara’)
  • ‘Erecta’
  • ‘Gold Ring’
  • Golden Carousel® (‘Bailsel’)
  • ‘Inermis’
  • Jade Carousel® (‘Bailgreen’)
  • ‘Kelleris’
  • ‘Kobold’
  • Lustre Green™ (‘Anderson’)
  • ‘Marshall Upright’
  • ‘Painter’s Palette’
  • ‘Pow Wow’
  • ‘Red Rocket’
  • ‘Rose Glow’
  • Ruby Carousel® (‘Bailone’)
  • Ruby Jewel™ ‘JN Redleaf’
  • ‘Silver Mile’
  • ‘Sparkle’
  • Stardust™ (‘JN Variegated’)
  • var. atropurpurea
  • Wild type (parent species)

These cultivars are approved for sale and production:

  • ‘Aurea’
  • ”Aurea Nana’
  • ‘Bagatelle’
  • ‘Bonanza Gold’
  • ‘Concorde’
  • ‘Crimson Dwarf’
  • ‘Crimson Pygmy’
  • ‘Crimson Ruby’
  • ‘Green Pygmy’
  • ‘Gold Nugget’
  • ‘Golden Devine’
  • ‘Helmond Pillar’
  • ‘Lime Glow’
  • ‘Royal Burgundy’
  • ‘Royal Cloak’
  • ‘Stan’s Variegated’
  • ‘Sunsation’
  • x mentorensis
View Comments


  1. MorningstarSun 10/04/2010

    Shucks fuzzies! No wonder Lowes had such a big sale on 'em a year ago when I bought a bunch. Looks like I'll have a containment job ahead of me! Do you see this happening in New York State? Other New England states?

  2. IrisMarch 10/10/2010

    I have been gardening for about 30 years in my Connecticut home. I love Barberries and have many of them. In the 30 years that I have been growing them, I have not noticed any "invasiveness" on the part of the plant. Some of the barberries were on the property when we moved here, and they are still in their orginal spots. They are somewhat taller and fuller, but certainly not taking over my property let alone anyone elses. I have some of the "banned" plants.

    I love barberries and I hope this is not a tempest in a teapot.

    Just my humble opinion based on observation.

  3. SteveA 11/04/2010

    Iris, the issue isn't with them being rampant spreaders. It is that birds and other wildlife eat the berries and deposit the seeds throughout the woodlands, where the barberries tend to take up space that potentially could have been used by a native plant.

    Morningstar: I really don't know if other states will follow suit.

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