• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Berberis × ottawensis f. purpurea 'Superba'

barberry 'Superba'

  • Other common names barberry 'Superba'

  • Synonyms Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea Superba'
    Berberis × ottawensis 'Superba'

  • Family Berberidaceae

  • 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

  • Details 'Superba' is a vigorous spiny medium-sized deciduous shrub with lax, arching branches. Leaves broadly oval, deep red-purple, brighter red in autumn. Flowers small, light yellow, berries bright red

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Toxicity Ingestion may cause mild stomach upset. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H7

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect West-facing or North-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Sand

    Sand

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained, Well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 1.5-2.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 1.5-2.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grows in any well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade

Propagation Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings or seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types Banks and Slopes Hedging & Screens Low Maintenance Flower borders and beds Coastal City & Courtyard Gardens Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 8

Pests Could be affected by berberis sawfly

Diseases May be subject to powdery mildews

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.