The Q&A Archives: Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy'

Question: I have read that Japanese barberries are an invasive plant to be avoided. How does your Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy' differ from these invasives?

Answer: Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is reported as invasive in 20 states, including Washington, D.C. Crimson Pygmy is no different so I would avoid planting it, or plant it in a container so it can be controlled. Or, you might choose an alternative: Many attractive native shrubs are available that make great substitutes for Japanese barberry. A few examples include bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica), ink-berry (Ilex glabra), winterberry (Ilex verticillata), arrow-wood (Viburnum dentatum), mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) and hearts-a-bustin' (Euonymus americana).

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