Berberis vulgaris

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Berberis vulgaris L.

Berberidaceae

Life form: shrub
Usage: economic plant / Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun - Exposure: half shade   3

Moisture: dry bis Moisture: moderately moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam - Soil: clay - Soil: sandy clay - Soil: loamy clay - Soil: peat

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: decidious

Shape: obovate

Division: simple

    

Shape: cup-shaped
Fruit: berry

V

6A / f9cf21 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: single
Habit: pendant

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

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

Berberis vulgaris, commonly known as common barberry, is a shrub.

Naming

Berberis vulgaris was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

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

Characteristics

Berberis vulgaris - habitus
Berberis vulgaris - flowers
Berberis vulgaris - branches
Berberis vulgaris - fruits

Growth

The shrubs reach heights of 2,5 to 3 metres. The plants reach a width of 2 to 3 metres.

Wood and Bark

Leaves

Berberis vulgaris is deciduous. The green, simple leaves are alternate. They are obovate, entire and sessile. They turn an attractive bright orange in autumn.

Flowers and Fruits

Berberis vulgaris produces racemes of pendant, yellow cup-shaped flowers in May. The plants flower on older shoots. They are hermaphroditic, pollination takes places by allogamy through animals.

The shrubs produce red berries in summer.

Root System

Distribution

Berberis vulgaris is native to Europe, the Caucasus, eastern Canada and the US.

Cultivation

The shrubs prefer a sunny to half-shady situation on dry to moderately moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy, clay, sandy clay, loamy clay or peaty soil with a pH between 4 and 6. They tolerate temperatures down to -40°C (USDA zone 3). The plants are suited for bank protection in softwood areas along wide flowing waters.

Uses

Suited for windbreaks and soil protection, as well as suited as slope plant, bee pasture, bird pasture and as plant providing shelter for birds.

Maintenance and Propagation

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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