Berberis - Barberry
A very varied group of evergreen
or deciduous flowering shrubs with a variety
of leaf colours especially in the deciduous
types where autumn colour may also be very good.
Not obviously spiny at first glance, the numerous
needle-like thorns are borne just underneath
the leaves so a harmless looking plant can give
a quite unexpected "bite".
Apart from this they're
also an exceptionally useful group of shrubs
for their ornamental value too!
darwinii is a real star, smothered
in dark orange flowers in mid to late spring
with sometimes a further show in the autumn
evergreen, particularly good for hedges, to
10ft high and wide. B. stenophylla
is similar with some varieties such as "Claret
cascade" giving red tinged orange
thunbergii is a good deciduous form
that comes in a variety of leaf colours from
the vibrant yellow young foliage of "Aurea"
(to 6ft x 6ft) to the speckled rose and purple
forms such as "Rose Glow" and "Atropurpurea"
the last one has fiery red autumn foliage.
Flowers of red, pink or white depending on variety.
Best in sun especially for
foliage colour and flowers, will tolerate some