Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Darwin Barberry, Darwin's Berberis
Berberis darwinii

Family: Berberidaceae (bear-ber-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Berberis (BUR-bur-is) (Info)
Species: darwinii (dar-WIN-ee-eye) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Ferment seeds before storing

Click thumbnail
to view:

By jimkellyie
Thumbnail #1 of Berberis darwinii by jimkellyie

By Ursula
Thumbnail #2 of Berberis darwinii by Ursula

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #3 of Berberis darwinii by Todd_Boland

By Kell
Thumbnail #4 of Berberis darwinii by Kell

By growin
Thumbnail #5 of Berberis darwinii by growin

By got2Bgreen
Thumbnail #6 of Berberis darwinii by got2Bgreen

By Calif_Sue
Thumbnail #7 of Berberis darwinii by Calif_Sue

There are a total of 20 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral stephenp On May 5, 2013, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

A rather overused garden ornamental shrub/small tree. Very fast grower, and given time can form a fairly substantial structure. Typical of some Chilean bushes with holly type leaves, other types being Desfontainia spinosa.

In UK (western UK) Berberis darwinii has began to colonise woodland edges due to massive rise in use of this plant in gardens over the past few years, so potentially an invasive plant should it get into heathland or light woodland areas.

Positive Mila1 On Apr 5, 2011, Mila1 from Memphis, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant grows wild in my area. Very pretty ornamental shrub that stays green through the winter. Berries grow in clumps, making them easy to harvest. Dried berries are high in vitamin C and have a sharp, tangy flavor. In culinary use, dried berries are used in rice pilaf dishes native to Central Asia, like the national Uzbek dish "plov."


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Martinez, California
San Leandro, California
Blodgett, Oregon
Canby, Oregon
Dayton, Oregon
Memphis, Tennessee
Bonney Lake, Washington
Bryn Mawr-skyway, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Ridgefield, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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