Berberis | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

Berberis has more species than Baskin-Robbins has ice-cream flavours

There are around 500 species of berberis that are commonly used as evergreen and deciduous garden shrubbery. Berberis are thorny plants that come in a range of sizes, often varying in colour, with foliage of green, yellow, pink or even red hues. In addition to their bright foliage, berberis produce flowers that are normally yellow or orange. These blooms can be produced singly or develop in bunches, and often develop into attractive berries later in the year. Berberis are hardy plants that can cope with cold winters, and thrive in most soils apart from waterlogged material.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • yes
Dangers: comments
  • Avoid eating this plant, or you may have mild stomach upset. Its sap may irritate your skin.
Height [m]
  • 1.5 - 2
Spread [m]
  • 2 - 2.5
Dominant flower colour
  • Yellow
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Red shades
Foliage in winter
  • Red shades
Propagation methods
  • semi-ripe cuttings
  • softwood cuttings
  • seed
Growth habit
  • Dense
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z3-9
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -40 - -1
  • well-drained
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Trees & shrubs
  • Shrubs
Grown for
  • Ornamental Foliage
Creative category
  • For Beginners
  • Show-offs
  • Bonsai
  • Neighbour repellant
  • For every season
Garden type
  • Cottage garden
  • Coastal
Garden spaces
  • Banks and slopes
  • Specimen
  • Hedges and screens
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • up to 20 years