Berberis repens

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Berberis repens (Lindl.) G.Don

Berberidaceae

Life form: shrub
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: half shade - Exposure: shade   6

Moisture: moist

Soil: loam - Soil: sandy loam

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: ovate

Division: imparipinnate

Shape: six-stellate
Fruit: berry

3A / f8da21 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Ranunculopsida
Subclassis:
Ranunculidae
Superordo:
Ranunculanae
Ordo:
Berberidales

Berberis repens is a shrub.

Naming

Berberis repens was described by John Lindley in 1828. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Berberis repens is a species in the genus Berberis which contains approximately 595 to 798 species and belongs to the family of the Berberidaceae (Barberry Family). The type species of the genus is Berberis vulgaris.

Characteristics

Growth

The comparatively slow-growing and long-lived shrubs have a semi-erect habit and reach heights of 30 to 60 centimetres. They spread slowly, the main growing season is in spring.

Wood and Bark

The bark is smooth.

Leaves

Berberis repens is evergreen. The dark-green, imparipinnate leaves are alternate. The leaflets are ovate and have serrate margins. The surface of the leaves is glabrous.

Flowers and Fruits

Berberis repens produces racemes of showy, yellow six-stellate flowers from April to May. The plants are hermaphroditic.

From summer to autumn the shrubs produce ornamental, edible blue berries that are persistent on the plant.

Root System

The plants produce stolons which give rise to vegetative spread.

Distribution

Berberis repens is native to western Canada, the Northwest of the US, the Rocky Mountains, the northern Prairie States of the US, California and the Southwest of the US.

Cultivation

The shrubs prefer a half-shady to shady situation on moist soil. The substrate should be loamy or sandy-loamy and comparatively rich with a pH between 5,5 and 7,5. The plants need a soil depth of at least 25 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -23°C (USDA zone 6) and need a frost-free period of at least 26 weeks.

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: anaerobic soil
  • low: soil salinity
  • medium: calcareous soil
  • high: drought

Uses

The ornamental value of Berberis repens lies especially in the attractive autumn aspect. The recommended planting distance is 1,5 to 2,4 metres. Suited for rockeries and for shrub borders, as well as suited as groundcover.

Maintenance and Propagation

  • Remove withered flowers if no fruit set is desired.
  • Lightly cut back all shoots after flowering.

Propagate by sowing in autumn or by semi-ripe cuttings in early autumn.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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