Berberis thunbergii DC.

Japanese Barberry

Yellow roots

Yellow roots

Family: Berberidaceae

Genus: Berberis

Category: Shrub - Deciduous

Zones: 4 to 8

Size: 3 to 6' tall and slightly wider

Growth Rate: Moderate

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Leaves are alternate, simple, small (0.5 to 1.25" long and less wide), green. Small yellow flowers in April. Orange, red and purple autumn color. Spines at the nodes. Twiggy dense habit. Full sun except in the south. Prefer well-drained soils. Deer resistant. All Barberry have yellow roots.



Subordinate taxa: 


Native to Japan and naturalized in Europe and the US.

Published in Syst. Nat. (Candolle) 2: 9 in 1821.

Introduced to Western Gardens in 1864 approx. RHS Award of Garden Merit 2002, First Class Certificate in 1890.

Named for Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828), a Swedish botanist employed by the Dutch East India Company.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner