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Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)

Posted in Species Profiles

Description: Deciduous spiny shrub 2-8 feet tall with green to red (in some variants) oval shaped leaves. Flowers are pale yellow and yield glossy bright red to orange berries.

Habitat: Grows in open fields to wetlands and forest systems.

Invasive Traits: Grazers avoid the spiny branches. Red berries attractive to birds, which disperse the seeds. Shrubs overtake forests and grasslands by shading out native plants. Vegetative reproduction allows the shrub to spread quickly.

Control: Manual pulling and digging is effective for small isolated populations when entire root system is removed. Controlled burns and repeated mowing are also mildly effective. Herbicide application via cut stem, foliar spray, or basal bark can be extremely effective.

Further Reading

Swearingen 2005

[berberis_1] Barberry flower

[berberis_2] Barberry fruit

[berberis_3] Barberry habit

[berberis_4] Red barberry flower

[berberis_5] Red barberry with fruit

Photo credits