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BERBERIS thunbergii 'Atropurpurea Nana'

Image of Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Atropurpurea Nana'

James H. Schutte

Family

Berberidaceae

Botanical Name

BERBERIS thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Atropurpurea Nana'

Plant Common Name

Dwarf Purple Japanese Barberry, Purpleleaf Japanese Barberry

General Description

Dwarf purple Japanese barberry is a compact deciduous shrub with four-seasons of interest. It’s most admired for its dense stems of red-purple foliage. These are covered with less desirable fine, thin thorns. In spring it bears tiny clusters of yellow flowers, which are followed by glossy red berries. The berries feed birds in fall and winter and thorns discourage deer from browsing.

Grow Japanese barberry in full sun to partial shade and any well-drained soil. If grown in full sun it will have better foliage color and fruit more heavily. Pruning or trimming should be done after bloom time. Drought tolerant and tough, barberry withstands otherwise stressful growing conditions, which is why it is often favored for urban or pedestrian plantings. The dwarf form is suited to rock gardens, foundation plantings or small hedges.

Barberry is prone to canker and dieback, fungal leaf spots, powdery mildew, root rot, Verticillium wilt, and wide variety of rusts. It has a tendency to self-sow and may be considered invasive in some regions.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    24"-28" / 61.0cm - 71.1cm

  • Width

    30"-36" / 76.2cm - 91.4cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Salt, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Crimson, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Purple, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Purple, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Purple, Orange, Burgundy, Crimson, Dark Red

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • 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

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes