Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
BERBERIS thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Red Chief'
Purpleleaf Japanese Barberry, Red Chief Barberry
Purpleleaf Japanese barberry ‘Red Chief’ is a rounded to vase-shaped, multi-stemmed shrub with shiny deep leaves turning red to orange in fall. Plum colored fruit persists into winter though this plant does not reliably flower or fruit, it has been known to self-sow.
Japanese barberry is a tough, sun-loving plant that is tolerant of many soil types and sites. It has been known to self-sow and can become somewhat invasive. Thorny, but still suitable for low hedges and edgings, ‘Red Chief’ can also be used in the rock garden. It is striking when combined with lime greens and yellows. Take care not to plant barberry in areas where children play.
Berberis thunbergii is sometimes considered an invasive plant particularly in the northeastern United States. It can form dense thickets in natural areas where it changes soil characteristics and displaces wildlife. For more information about the invasiveness of barberry see the National Park Service’s factsheet at http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/beth1.htm . Also, some species and cultivars of barberry host the plant disease black stem-rust of wheat which causes serious losses in wheat yield. The sale or transport of susceptible or untested species may be prohibited in some parts of the United States and Canada. For more information about the disease see the United States Department of Agriculture factsheet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/barberry/background.shtml
8 - 5
4 - 8
A3, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
4'-5' / 1.2m - 1.5m
Spring, Late Spring
Southern Europe, Central Asia, Japan
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Pollution, Salt, Soil Compaction
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Yellow, Yellow Green
Crimson, Dark Red
Dark Red, Orange Red
Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
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