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A picture of a Darwin's Barberry

Darwin's Barberry

Berberis darwinii

Also known as


Berberis darwinii 05 by Michael Wolf (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








20 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Darwin's Barberry

A orange flowering Berberis darwinii plant in a garden
A close up of some yellow Berberis darwinii flowers
A close up of some orange Berberis darwinii flowers in the wild
A close up of some green Berberis darwinii leaves and unripe fruits
A close up of a green Berberis darwinii leaf with spines

Darwin's Barberry Overview

Berberis darwinii has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. This evergreen shrub can grow to 3-4 metres tall. The leaves are dark green with a glossy sheen to them, growing 12-25mm in length and 5-12mm wide. They grow in clusters of 2-5 and have spiked edges. The flowers are a light orange-yellow which are very small growing to 2-4mm long in the spring. These are then followed by small purple-black berries that ripen up in the summer and can be eaten, however it is very acidic.

Common problems with Darwin's Barberry

How to harvest Darwin's Barberry

Generally not harvested

How to propagate Darwin's Barberry


You should sown your seeds as soon as the berries are ripe, this will allow the seeds to germinate by late winter or early spring. When the seeds are taken from over ripe fruit, they will take longer to germinate giving you less planting time. If you buy stored seeds you may have to use cold stratification and be sown as early in the year as possible. Seedlings will need good ventilation and do not over water them as they will easily die from damping off. When they are large enough to be pricked off they should then be planted into separate pots and grow in cold frames and can be planted out the following spring or early summer.


The deciduous hybrids and cultivars can be propagated by softwood or semi-ripe cuttings in the summer.

Special features of Darwin's Barberry

Attracts butterflies

Attracts bees

Other uses of Darwin's Barberry

A low maintenance plant that can be planted as hedges/screens for security purposes. It is also useful for banks & slopes in coastal or informal cottage gardens.

Jams and jellies

Larger Shrubs for Gardens

For larger gardens, these flowering shrubs are perfect additions to provide habitat and food for pollinators.

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Spring Flowering Garden Shrubs

These spring flowering shrubs are great additions, providing pollinators with habitat, shelter and food.

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