Berberis thunbergii

Japanese Barberry

  • Site: Plants are both sun- and shade-tolerant; It grows successfully in a variety of soil types. It was growing in shade along the park trails.
  • Plant community: Japanese barberry is found in old fields, in open woods, on floodplains, on ledges, along power lines, and on roadsides. In Maine it occurs in thickets, on roadsides, and in open areas.
  • Invasive traits: prolific seed producer with a high percentage of reproduction; can eventually grow thick enough to crowd out native understory plants; birds eat the red berries, thereby spreading the shrub into new areas.
  • Other: the roots are the color of bright yellow; this plant was introduced as an ornamental (Fall foliage color is one of the reasons this plant has been widely planted as an ornamental)