ags logo
Alpine Garden Society Plant Encyclopaedia
Plant search (Family/Genus/Species etc.)
Previous species: B. ×stenophylla
Next species: B. wilsoniae

Berberis thunbergii

Description No Images

Authors: DC.  

Botanical Description

Height and spread l-2m, of dense rounded habit. Stems dull reddish brown with one-pronged spines. Leaves deciduous, obovate to spathulate, l-3cm long, rounded to spine-tipped, bright green, colouring well in autumn. Flowers 8-10mm in diameter, reddish in bud, opening yellow, in umbellate clusters of one to five, spring as the leaves expand. Fruits 6-8mm long, ovoid, glossy bright red. Japan, in the mountains. Too large for the rock garden but the following cultivars are suitable: 'Atropurpurea Nana', height to 40cm, spread to 70cm, thorns very small, leaves purple, (also known as 'Little Favourite', and in the U.S.A. as 'Crimson Pygmy' and 'Crimson Beauty'). 'Bagatelle', very dense and slow growing (20cm in height in six years) ultimately to about 40cm and somewhat wider, leaves deep purple-red. 'Kobold', height and spread to 40cm, densely globose, leaves dark green with no autumn colour.