General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 5 to 6 feet, to 8 feet
Plant Spread: 6 to 8 feet, to 15 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Blooms on old wood
Other: tiny but make a nice effect
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Tolerates dry shade
Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Stratify seeds: seeds require a cooling period prior to germination and are best planted in the Fall
Sow in situ
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Common names
  • Japanese Barberry
  • Barberry

Photo Gallery
Location: Media, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-04-21
full-grown specimen
Location: Clinton, Michigan 49236
Date: 2018-05-15

Date: 2015-12-06

Date: 2022-03-24
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-04-17
full-grown mother species
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-04-17
spring foliage with developing tiny yellow flowers

Date: 2015-11-23
Location: Skaneateles Conservation Area
photo credit: R. A. Nonenmacher
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-03-27
a row of big shrubs
Location: southeast Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-03-12
a sheared shrub in late winter
Photo by robertduval14
Location: Skaneateles Conservation Area
photo credit: R. A. Nonenmacher
Location: Skaneateles Conservation Area
photo credit: R. A. Nonenmacher
Location: Skaneateles Conservation Area
photo credit: R. A. Nonenmacher
Location: Skaneateles Conservation Area
photo credit: R. A. Nonenmacher
This plant is tagged in:

  • Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Nov 24, 2011 10:13 AM concerning plant:
    Easy to root from stem cuttings. Will often root where branches touch the ground and long branches can be bent over to the ground and weighted with a heavy object to root.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 12, 2018 11:07 AM concerning plant:
    Because this shrub is so nasty to touch or work around from of all its many sharp thorns, I have never loved it in my whole horticultural career for decades. It has a beauty of pretty, fine-textured foliage and good orange or red fall color, but I would not miss seeing it in landscapes. This mother species with green foliage gets to be 5 to 8 feet high and 6 to 15 feet wide with a very dense, rounded habit, though when not old or if properly pruned it can have a nice informal habit. By itself it eventually becomes a horribly dense mass of stems and twigs. Many homeowners shear barberry into weird meatball or squarish forms or make it into a sheared low or medium height hedge. It bears lots of orange football-shaped fruit that some kinds of birds eat and spread the seed around, so that it becomes an invasive east Asian plant in and around woods. It makes a great shelter for deer ticks and other ticks in the wild. This mother species is not used or sold much in the trade, but there is a huge number of cultivars of dwarf, compact, purple-red, rose, or yellow foliaged mutations used a lot in many landscapes in the US.
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Sep 21, 2011 4:24 PM concerning plant:
    Valuable source of nectar and pollen for honey bees

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