The bright splendor of barberry bushes in the garden: a variety of species and varieties

The bright splendor of barberry bushes in the garden: a variety of species and varieties

Barberry is the main representative of the family of the same name. It is a spectacular shrub with beautiful leaves and thorny shoots. It is very difficult not to notice the barberry during the flowering and fruiting period, since at this time it is especially beautiful. In nature, there are about one hundred and seventy species of this plant, each of them has its own characteristics and distinctive features.

Species diversity of barberries

Many of us remember the very Barberry sweets, syrups and lemonades that were so popular during the Soviet era. All these products were made from the berries of edible barberry species. Now many gardeners grow this unpretentious plant on their site. However, not all species take root in our latitudes, but only those that have managed to adapt to the temperate climate.

Bright berries of barberry are hard to miss among the garden greenery

The genus of barberry includes many species, among which there are both evergreen and deciduous plants. A common feature of these shrubs is the presence of thorns - single, double, triple, and sometimes even five together. They are located at the base of the kidneys, they can be very hard or soft, almost invisible.

Barberry bushes bloom from late May to early July. Flowers are yellow, small. The berries are light or dark red, sometimes black, with a pronounced sour taste, but quite edible.

Barberry plantations look very decorative throughout the season. Deciduous species are a real gem of the autumn garden thanks to the vibrant color of leaves and berries.

Barberry bushes adorn the garden throughout the season

Next, we will take a closer look at the most popular varieties of barberry.

Edible species

No home garden is complete without fruit trees. Even the laziest gardeners plant their plots with raspberries, apples, pears, but few people prefer such an unpretentious plant as barberry. In addition to nutritional value, it is also worth noting its healing and decorative properties.

Common barberry

The common barberry is most widespread in the Caucasus and southern Europe, but it can also grow in Siberia. Shrubs of this type are resistant to frost, can withstand temperatures up to -35 degrees. The main condition for growing is placing plants in sunny and dry areas. Planting in the shade negatively affects the taste and quantity of the fruit.

Common barberry is one of the most common representatives of the family, which is distinguished by its unpretentiousness and high frost resistance

The common barberry has quite a few varieties, namely:

  • Lutea is a bush up to 2 m high with yellow shoots and light green foliage. The fruits are golden yellow, sour. Planted only in open, sunny areas of the garden.
  • Aureomarginata - can reach a height of 3 m, has very beautiful leaves bordered by a golden strip. Very effective in hedges. The fruits are scarlet, tasty, sweet and sour, ripen in October.

    For a decorative hedge, the barberry Aureomarginata is perfect, the leaves of which are bordered with a thin golden strip.

  • Atropurpurea - the height of the bush does not exceed 2 m, purple shoots with dark red leaves and fruits. A very showy plant. Berries are picked in late September - early October.

    Barberry Atropurpurea with a reddish tint of leaves is often used in landscaping urban recreation areas

  • Alba variegata - this variety is valued for its high decorative effect. Its foliage is painted with white stains, the color of the fruit is creamy white.
  • Dulchiz - has all the specific characteristics of the common barberry, is distinguished by the high taste of the fruit. The berries are sweet, fully ripe by mid-October.
  • Asperm is a tall shrub with red seedless berries.

Barberry syrup recipe. For cooking, you need to mash the berries with the addition of water, then squeeze out the juice. After that, the liquid must be brought to a boil, passed through a filter and granulated sugar added.

Video: characteristics and useful properties of barberry

Amur barberry

Plants of this species are shrubs up to 3.5 m in height. The shoots have spines up to 2 cm long. Depending on the season, the color of the leaves can change, acquiring a reddish tint in autumn. In spring, small yellow flowers with a pleasant aroma appear on the bushes. In November, flowers are replaced by bright red fruits.

Amur barberry is distinguished by abundant flowering and fruiting

In this species, two varieties are best known:

  • Japonica - differs in more rounded leaves and a small number of flowers on the racemes.
  • Orpheus is a non-flowering variety bred by Russian breeders exclusively for decorative purposes. The height of the bush is 1 m.

Ball-bearing barberry

This type of barberry grows in Central Asia, Mongolia and China. It is its fruits that are part of traditional Asian dishes such as lagman, shurpa and pilaf. The shrub can grow up to two meters in height. Shiny reddish shoots in spring are covered with spectacular dark green leaves. The yellow-orange inflorescences blooming in early June have a pronounced aroma. The fruits are black, covered with a bluish bloom on top.

The ball-bearing barberry is not very adapted to the climatic conditions of Russia. If you decide to plant this shrub in your garden, make sure you have a good hiding place.

Ball-bearing barberry fruits have excellent taste.

The ripening time of barberry fruits depends on its type. Usually the crop is harvested from September to early November.

Evergreen species of barberry

Evergreen barberries include shrubs of different types that differ from each other:

  • bush shape;
  • frost resistance;
  • cultivation features;
  • resistance to urban conditions.

A living fence made of evergreen barberry is replete with thorns, but at the same time it is incredibly beautiful

Barberry Darwin

This species grows rather slowly, the maximum height of an adult bush reaches 2 m. Most often it is grown for decorative purposes. Darwin's barberry has bright orange-yellow flowers, in place of which black fruits with a bluish tinge appear in the fall. The leaves of the shrub are quite elegant, shiny, with small spines at the ends.

Darwin's barberry has an average winter hardiness, can withstand temperatures up to minus fifteen degrees. The shrub is recommended for cultivation in the southern regions of our country.

Bright orange-yellow flowers of Darwin's barberry delight the eye in any weather

You can trim the barberry shoots a little after flowering. This will give the bushes a neater and more beautiful appearance.

Barberry Freakarta

This garden hybrid is derived from the warty barberry. The flowering period of this shrub is in May. Its flowers are pale yellow, the leaves are light green, shiny. The berries are inedible, blue-black in color.

The species is quite resistant to low temperatures (up to -23 degrees), but it is recommended for growing in warm climates. Prefers sunny or partial shade places.

Barberry Frikarta is presented in two decorative varieties:

  • Amstelveen - grows up to one meter in height and up to two meters in width. Shoots are prickly, arched in shape.
  • Telstar is a slow-growing shrub, reaching 90 cm in circumference. The crown is dense, the leaves have a silvery underside.

Amstelveen barberry has a very compact shape

Barberry Ganepena

Barberry Ganepena grows slowly, at the age of 10 it can reach up to two meters in height and in diameter. The plant forms elongated shoots with thorns about two centimeters long. In May, yellow flowers bloom on the branches, which can be either single or collected in inflorescences. At the beginning of autumn, they are replaced by blue-black berries, covered with a white bloom. The fruits are not good for food.

The most popular variety of this species is Klugovski. It was bred in 1960 by Alfons Klugovski in the Flein nursery (Germany). The variety is unpretentious, resistant to both high and low temperatures, as well as to the conditions of the urban environment. Doesn't like excessive moisture.

The dark green leaves of the Klugovski variety have jagged edges.

Juliana's barberry

A slow-growing shrub that, at the age of 10, can reach up to two meters in length and up to four in width. The leaves of Juliana's barberry reach 10 centimeters, have needles at the ends. The color of the leaves is dark green, at a young age - with a bronze tint. Flowering occurs in mid-May or early June. Flowers are collected in clusters of 8-15 pieces, painted yellow with a red frame. At the end of September, black-blue fruits ripen on the bushes.

Juliana's barberry is resistant to temperature extremes, as well as to urban conditions. Prefers sunny location. Shrubs of this type are highly decorative, they are often used for landscaping areas.

The edges of the leaves of Juliana's barberry are protected by small but very prickly needles.

Dwarf barberries

The dwarf varieties of the Thunberg barberry are of the greatest value for landscaping. They are great for curbs and low hedges. Usually barberry is combined with conifers, however, alone, the bushes look amazing.

Decorative deciduous varieties

Low-growing Thunberg barberries can have different leaf colors - from pale yellow to burgundy. The most popular varieties are:

  • Bagatelle. A beautiful dwarf shrub that does not exceed 40 cm both in height and in diameter. The small leaves, painted with a bright purple color, reach a length of 1 cm. The flowers have a delicate yellow color and grow in bunches. At the end of September, edible red oblong berries ripen on the bushes. Bagatelle is susceptible to freezing in winter, but it is quite heat resistant. The plant is unpretentious, but it needs good lighting.

    Barberry Thunberg Bagatelle stands out brightly against the general background due to the crimson color of the leaves

  • Kobold. The size of an adult bush does not exceed 50 cm. Small emerald leaves (no more than 1.5 cm long) turn bright yellow in autumn. Kobold bloom begins in May. Yellow flowers with a red rim do not exceed 1 cm in length. They are replaced in September by pink or red fruits that can be eaten. The shrub is not at all picky about habitat conditions. Resistant to heat, frost-resistant, tolerates urban conditions. Likes to sit in the sun, but also perfectly tolerates shade and partial shade.

    Small exquisite bushes of Kobold barberry are often used for landscaping city parks

  • Bonanza Gold. An incredibly beautiful plant with a very dense pillow-like crown. This small but exquisite bush reaches a height of 50 cm and a width of no more than 70. The leaves of the bush are very small, have a bright lemon shade. Flowers, like leaves, are yellow. In September, edible red fruits appear in place of the bright flowers. Barberry Bonanza Gold is drought and heat resistant, but in winter it can be prone to freezing, which is why it loses part of the crown. The shrub of this variety recovers very quickly and by the beginning of June it acquires its former appearance.

    Even in bad weather, Bonanza Gold barberry looks like it is illuminated by the sun.

  • Atropurpurea Nana. It is a low-growing bush with a wide-round crown. The leaves are purple in color, which changes to fiery red in the fall. This variety of barberry blooms from May to June. The flowers are small, light yellow. Closer to September, bright red oblong berries appear on the bushes. Atropurpurea Nana prefers well-lit areas, however, there are no problems with growth in shady areas. The variety is quite resistant to heat and cold, does not like stagnant moisture in the soil.

    The purple color of the leaves of the barberry Atropurpurea Nana turns into fiery red with the arrival of autumn

Video: popular varieties of barberry

The best variegated varieties

Over the past decades, breeders have bred decorative varieties of Thunberg barberry with brightly colored foliage of several colors: lemon, purple, red. Such shrubs can be a real decoration for any garden.

Among the variegated varieties of Thunberg barberry, the most decorative are:

  • Admiration. The annual growth of this variety does not exceed 3-4 cm. The maximum height of an adult plant is 50 cm. The leaves reach up to three centimeters in length and are colored bright red with a yellow frame. In May, yellow-red inflorescences appear on the bush. During the fruiting period, the plant produces bright red berries that are not suitable for human consumption. Barberry Administration is resistant to urban conditions. In winter, the rhizomes and stems can freeze over, so it is advisable to cover the shrub.

    Barberry Administration has brightly colored foliage and is able to decorate any garden

  • Special Gold. It is a dwarf shrub that grows very slowly. The maximum height of an adult plant is 20–30 cm. Its leaves are rather small, yellow-green in color. Barberry Special Gold blooms in May with yellow flowers. Resistant to heat, frost and urban conditions, and is also resistant to pests. Prefers sunny location, but can grow in the shade.

    Barberry Thunberg Special Gold stands out for its bright golden foliage

Video: variegated forms of barberry Thunberg

Fast growing barberries

The fastest growing varieties of barberry also belong to the Thunberg species. They have a number of distinctive features:

  • An adult plant can grow up to three meters in height.
  • The branches and trunk of shrubs are covered with thorns up to 1 cm long.
  • The leaves are small, oblong, 1–3 cm long. The foliage is colored red in autumn and falls off in the winter.
  • Flowering lasts from one to two weeks. Flowers have a yellow center, the outside is red.
  • They bear fruit annually and are very abundant. The berries reach 10 mm in length and are elliptical in shape.
  • Ripe fruits of bright coral color appear on the bush in the middle of autumn and hang on the branches for a long time.

Photo gallery: the fastest growing varieties of Thunberg barberry

Barberry varieties for the Moscow region

The main criterion for choosing varieties and types of barberry for the Moscow region is their resistance to frost and urban conditions. The most popular species in this region are:

  • barberry Ottawa;
  • common barberry;
  • barberry Thunberg.

Let's take a closer look at individual representatives of each of the species.

Barberry Alba variegata

Alba variegataa kind of common barberry. The leaves of this shrub are distinguished by unusual white spots. Barberry Alba variegata reaches up to 1.5 m in height. It is unpretentious, frost-resistant, tolerates heat well, does not like stagnant moisture. It is preferable to place the shrub in a sunny location.

Barberry Alba variegata is distinguished by beautiful green leaves with white spots

Barberry Ottawa Superba

Barberry Superba can reach a height of up to 3 meters. The leaves of this shrub have a purple hue. The flowers are yellow with a red border around the edges, blooming in May. In June, bright red berries appear on the bushes, which can be eaten. The variety is frost-resistant, undemanding to soil and environment.

Ottawa barberry Superba with purple leaves retains its bright color even in the shade

Barberry Thunberg Atropurpurea

This variety of barberry is rather low (up to 1m), with a flat-round crown shape. The leaves are dark purple in color, sometimes with a purple tint. The shrub blooms in May. His flowers are small, painted yellow. Closer to autumn, bright red oblong berries appear on the bushes.

Atropurupurea prefers sunny and bright locations, but can tolerate shade. Resistant to heat and cold, does not like moisture stagnation.

Barberry Atropurpurea can be used as a bright accent color in garden compositions

Types of barberry for Siberia

Siberia has a rather cold climate and a long frosty period. In such conditions, only some types of barberry are able to grow well, such as:

  • Siberian barberry. A shrub that grows no more than 1 m in height. Its branches are covered with thorny thorns, the leaves also have thorny teeth at the edges. Blossoming of Siberian barberry begins in May, by the end of summer, red oblong fruits appear on the branches. Resistant to low temperatures, unpretentious.

    Siberian barberry is unpretentious and resistant to the harsh climate of Siberia

  • Amur barberry. We already got acquainted with this species at the beginning of the article. In the wild, the shrub is found along the banks of mountain rivers and on the forest edges of the Far East. It has been used in landscaping since the end of the 19th century. Good for hedges. Beautiful Amur barberry bushes lend themselves well to cutting, and thin sharp thorns can protect your estate from uninvited guests.

    Wild bushes of Amur barberry can be found on the rocky coast of Primorsky Krai

  • Common barberry. For cultivation in Siberia, the red-leaved form of barberry - Atropurpurea is most often recommended. This variety is most adapted to harsh winters.

Video: useful properties and use of Siberian barberry


Barberry has many types and varieties, each of which is unique in its own way. Due to its unpretentiousness, it is very popular among gardeners. Certain types of barberry are able to withstand temperatures down to -40 degrees. The shrub is widely used in landscaping areas, parks and residential areas.

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Barberry Thunberg Admiration

Barberry Admiration refers to miniature varieties of this shrub - it grows no more than half a meter in height, forming a dense spherical crown. In summer, its leaves are yellow and orange, and by autumn they turn scarlet, with a yellow edging. The shrub blooms in May, and in September it is covered with red berries.

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