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Red Leaf Japanese Barberry

Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea'

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Red Leaf Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea') at Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea'

Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea'

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Red Leaf Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea') at Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea' foliage

Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea' foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  var. atropurpurea, Red Barberry

Description:

A beautiful shrub for bringing color into the landscape; rich plum-purple foliage all summer long, finally turning to a deep amber in fall, also has attractive flowers and showy red fruits after the leaves fall

Ornamental Features

Red Leaf Japanese Barberry is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The fruits are showy crimson drupes carried in abundance from early to late fall. It has attractive plum purple foliage which emerges crimson in spring. The small glossy oval leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding coppery-bronze in the fall. It features tiny clusters of yellow flowers hanging below the branches in mid spring.

Landscape Attributes

Red Leaf Japanese Barberry is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and can be pruned at anytime. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny

Red Leaf Japanese Barberry is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Red Leaf Japanese Barberry will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Screening  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features

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