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Darwin's Barberry

Berberis darwinii

Awarded a RHS AGM this shrub is evergreen and can grow to 3-4 metres tall. They leaves are a dark green with a glossy cover 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.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Generally not harvested

Propagation

Seed
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.

Special features

Geography

Origin
America, South, America

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Notes
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.

Personality

Family
Berberidaceae
Flower colour
Yellow
Scent
Mild

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