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BERBERIS candidula

Image of Berberis candidula

Jesse Saylor

Family

Berberidaceae

Botanical Name

BERBERIS candidula

Plant Common Name

Chinese Barberry

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

The glossy foliage and purplish fruits on a dense mound make the Chinese barberry worth of inclusion in a landscape. This semi-evergreen to evergreen shrub is native to central western China. The branches are rigid but tend to arch. Spines line the light brown, slightly zigzag branches as well.

The leathery dark green leaves are narrow ovals and are armed with spines on their edges. Leaf undersides are white. In late spring the shrub produces solitary bright yellow flowers. By late summer the fruits are ripe: purple but with a whitish bloom coating. In the chill of fall and winter the leaves blush wine to bronze-burgundy. Excessive cold will cause leaf drop, or unsightly browned edges on any remaining leaves.

Grow Chinese barberry in full to partial sun for best form, flowering and fruiting. A slightly acidic soil is best. Avoid ground that tends to hold excessive moisture. Use this shrub as a massed groundcover or in a foundation bed. It may be used as a rather informal-looking low hedge, too. The spiny branches and leaves makes it troublesome to prune, and trash and leaf litter often collects in the shrub base.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 4

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Purple

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green, Bronze, Plum

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Foundation, Groundcover, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes