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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)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 12, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Covers itself in very showy tangerine orange flowers (not gold) in early spring. Gracefully arching habit. Less spiny than most barberries.

Mila1's photo shows that the subject of their comment is Mahonia bealei, which has indeed naturalized in Tennessee. Berberis darwinii is native to Patagonia, and is unknown in Uzbeckistan.


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.


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."