Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea
Red-Leaf Japanese Barberry
Deciduous, Shrubs, Decorative fruit or berries
These dense, spiny-stemmed plants, especially the deciduous species, tolerate climate and soil extremes. Require no more than ordinary garden care. Each year, thin out oldest wood and prune as needed to shape—after bloom for evergreen and semievergreen types, late in the dormant season for deciduous kinds. They make attractive hedges. Informal style is best for species grown for spring flowers (yellow, unless otherwise noted) and ensuing berries, which are borne on previous year’s growth; species grown for foliage can be sheared. To rejuvenate overgrown or neglected plants, cut them to within a foot of the ground before new spring growth begins.
Closely related to and sometimes grouped by botanists with Mahonia.Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea
This group contains plants with leaves in the red to purple-red range. All develop most intense color in sun.
Resembles ‘Crimson Pygmy’ but is taller (to 4 ft.), with larger leaves and more open growth.
Selected miniature form, generally less than 1 1/2 ft. high and 2 1/2 ft. wide at 10 years old. Leaves are bright red when new, maturing to bronzy blood red. Must have sun to develop good color.
Columnar form grows to 6 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide, with reddish purple foliage. Sets few or no seeds.
Grows to 4–6 ft. tall and wide. New foliage is marbled with bronzy red and pinkish white, deepening to rose and bronze with age. For best color, plant in full sun or lightest shade.‘Royal Cloak’
Compact, mounding to 4 ft. high and at least as wide. Large, dark purple-red leaves.‘Sunsation’
Compact, upright to 3–4 ft. tall and wide. New growth is greenish gold, maturing to bright golden yellow.
Extra-dwarf, bright green variety that grows slowly into a full, rounded shape about 18 in. tall and 2...
Resembles ‘Crimson Pygmy’ but is taller (to 4 ft.), with larger leaves and more open growt...
Compact, mounding to 4 ft. high and at least as wide. Large, dark purple-red leaves.