Garden Plants, How and where to grow them - Shrubs & Hedging

Berberis darwinii - Shrub

A deservedly popular form, Berberis darwinii possibly the loveliest of the genus. Small glossy green leaves looking like a miniature holly leaf with gorgeous golden yellow flowers in spring. An evergreen, some of the older leaves fall in the autumn after turning a beautiful red colour.

Vibrant orange-yellow flowers appear in the spring, covering the bush, often with a second if smaller showing in the autumn along with bluish-purple berries. Good as part of a mixed border and as a mixed or single species hedge. Vigorous and easy to grow in almost all soils.

  • Height and spread: 3m x 3m (10ft x 10ft)
  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: fairly unfussy
  • Rate of growth: medium to fast, depending on position
  • Flowering period: April to May, sometimes a second show in autumn
  • Flower colour: yellow-orange
  • Other features: bluish-purple autumn berries, red leaf colour in autumn
  • Hardiness: fully hardy
  • Uses: Hedging / mixed border
  • Planting distance when used for hedging: 45cm, 18"
  • Clipped height: 1.5-2.5m, 5-8ft
  • Number of times to clip per season and when: 1, immediately after flowering
  • Responds to renovation?: Yes, cut whole plant back to 30cm, 12" of ground in late winter to renovate
  • Pruning: Usually requires minimal pruning. Can prune in early summer after flowering, though that seasons berries will be lost, otherwise prune in autumn or winter after fruiting.

Photo credits: (numbering left to right top to bottom) 1-Berberis darwinii josh jackson - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. / 2-Berberis darwinii Andy Andrew Fogg - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. / 3-Berberis darwinii Dick Culbert from Gibsons BC Canada - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. / 4-Berberis darwinii Michael Wolf - Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. / 5-Berberis darwinii Stan Shebs - Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. / 6-Tom Morris - Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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