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Berberis vulgaris

common barberry

A deciduous, prickly shrub reaching 2-3m in height. Clusters of hanging orange-yellow flowers are borne in late spring to early summer, followed by red, ovoid fruits. Twigs are grooved and prickles usually 3-forked. Leaves are green, entire, small-toothed and occur in groups

Other common names
barberry
jaundice berry
see morejaundice tree
piperidge
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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Orange Yellow Green
Summer Orange Yellow Green Red
Autumn Green Red
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Berberidaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
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
Europe SW Asia N Africa

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How to grow

Cultivation

Either native or naturalised, it is most often found in hedgerows or rough grassland, especially on chalk

Propagation

Propagate by seed or by semi-ripe cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Wildlife gardens
Pruning

If plants outgrow their space, prune after flowering, Pruning group 1

Pests

Could be affected by berberis sawfly

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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