categoryZShrubs Shrubs List 
categoryZBroadleaf Broadleaf List 
categoryZDeciduous Deciduous List 

THUNBERG'S BARBERRY

Berberis thunbergii

Barberry Family [Berberidaceae]

Flowers:
month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZgreen berryZred  (edible but acrid)
berry8Jun berry8June berry8Jul berry8July berry8Aug berry8Sep berry8Sept berry8Oct

category
category8Shrubs
category
category8Broadleaf
category
category8Deciduous
status
statusZneophyte

flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8red inner8orange
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZbell
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8ribbed
contact
contactZlowish
sex
sexZbisexual

8th April 2011, near Hawes, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
A deciduous shrub to 2m in height.


8th April 2011, near Hawes, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Leaves pear-shaped.


8th April 2011, near Hawes, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Leaves developing a reddish-purple tinge.


8th April 2011, near Hawes, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Flowers yellow with reddish splodges.


8th April 2011, near Hawes, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have 5 cup-shaped sepals which open to 180° around, and 5 curved petals which never fully open.


8th April 2011, near Hawes, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
The 5 petals form a bell-shape. Anthers within bearing pollen.


8th April 2011, near Hawes, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Leaves entire lacking teeth or spines. Flowers in short and sparse fascicles. Barbs or spines on twigs are mostly simple, rather than 3-partite.


8th April 2011, near Hawes, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Leaves reddening.


22nd Sept 2010, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Often planted, as here. Leaves between 1 to 3cm long.


22nd Sept 2010, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
In Autumn the leaves turn a brilliant red or red-purple.


22nd Sept 2010, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Berries red, long and mis-shapen similar to those of Barberry.


Easily mis-identified as : Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) but that haa larger leaves (2.5 - 6cm, rather than 1-3cm) which do not turn red/purple and has yellow flowers lacking red splurges and spines that are 3-partite rather than just the (mostly) single barbs on Thunberg's Barberry.

Your Author is not entirely convinced that the photos from near Hawes are actually those of Thunberg's Barberry, but they do look similar, especially when you consider that Clive Stace says that they can also have green leaves. And in the examples from there, the leaves are turning a muddy brown and the flowers do have bright red splurges of colour on then. The examples from Walkden do look more convincingly of Thunbergs's though, especially since they have smaller and much redder leaves. But who knows, both may be similar cultivars; they were certainly not growing wild.

A great many cultivars exist and are widely planted alongside roads and in parks or gardens, from where they may occasionally be bird-sown into the wild.

You are much more likely to find this growing in a garden.


  Berberis thunbergii  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Berberidaceae  

Distribution
 family8Barberry family8Berberidaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Berberis
Berberis
(Barberry)

THUNBERG'S BARBERRY

Berberis thunbergii

Barberry Family [Berberidaceae]