Ed Golson Outdoor Education

japanese barberry

Scientific Name: Berberis thunbergii

Description: Japanese barberry is a small, spiny shrub that usually grows about 3 feet high. The leaves of this plant are oval in shape and are clustered together in tight groups next to the branches. This plant has small yellow flowers that bloom in May. By midsummer, clusters of bright red-fruits can be seen attached to the branches. In the fall, the leaves of this plant turn to bright red.  

Japanese barberry prefers to live in areas that are not too wet in loose soil. It is often found in partially shaded areas such as along road sides and woodland edges.  

What's the Problem? : These invasive plants were brought here from Japan in the late 1800's. Many people planted them in their gardens because they thought they looked nice. Once these plants got established here, they quickly spread into the wild and began taking over habitat that was once controlled by native plants.

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