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Berberis cretica

A tough, low-growing, and sometimes prostrate, extremely thorny little shrub from Greece, Crete and Cyprus. It's a sun lover and drought tolerant once well established. It has small oval mid green leaves that turn good fiery colours briefly before they fall in the autumn. Short clusters of pale yellow flowers in sping become tiny blue-black berries that develop a pale blueberry-like bloom in the autumn. Birds love the berries.

Synonyms
Berberis libanotica
Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained, Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green
Summer Green Green Black
Autumn Yellow Red Orange Black Blue
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Berberidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Ingestion may cause mild stomach upset, contact with spines may irritate skin. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Berberis can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs with spiny shoots bearing simple, often spine-toothed leaves, and small yellow or orange flowers in axillary clusters or racemes, followed by small berries

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Mediterranean

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grows in any soil except waterlogged. A sunny position will encourage fruiting. Drought tolerant once established. For more information please see shrub cultivation.

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in a seedbed in early spring. Many Berberis species cross freely in gardens, so seed-raised plants are often hybrids. Take semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Rock garden
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Gravel garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Banks and slopes
Pruning

Pruning group 8

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids and to berberis sawfly

Diseases

May be susceptible to Powdery mildews.

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