Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Barberry
Berberis thunbergii 'Bonanza Gold'

Family: Berberidaceae (bear-ber-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Berberis (BUR-bur-is) (Info)
Species: thunbergii (thun-BERG-ee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Bonanza Gold
Additional cultivar information: (PP08215, aka Bogozam)
Hybridized by Moretti; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1991

Synonym:Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea

One vendor has this plant for sale.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
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)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

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

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #1 of Berberis thunbergii by Equilibrium

By Equilibrium
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1 positive
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Feb 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Trade, transport, and planting this shrub is illegal in my state and two others, because it invades and destroys natural areas. I've seen state woodland turned into impenetrable thorny thickets of this species, where nothing else in the understory layer survives. It has naturalized across North America north of a line running from Georgia to Wyoming, and also in Washington.

Neutral Gabrielle On Apr 1, 2008, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

a.k.a. 'Bogozam'

Neutral foreverfaithful On Oct 21, 2007, foreverfaithful from Des Moines, IA wrote:

I live in Iowa and just planted (late summer) several of these in the front of the (southeast facing) house. I'll let you all know how they fair after winter, giving a positive or negative at that time. The flowers are supposed to be the same exact color of the foliage, so they are virtually invisible-you'll have to look close to see them.

Positive irishbelle On Jun 2, 2007, irishbelle from Orange County, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Nice, neat and easy. Takes well to shaping and is not too fussy about soil conditions. I have been growing a variety of barberry for about 8 years, and in my landscape Bonanza Gold hasn't given any indication of being invasive. The big bonus is that it is deer resistant.

Negative Equilibrium On Oct 15, 2006, Equilibrium wrote:

invasive species. Recruits everywhere and reverts back to its thorny type.

aka Japanese Barberry 'Bogozam'

Neutral smiln32 On Jan 15, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

In full sun, the foliage of this cultivar is a bright golden yellow. Tolerant of many soil conditions. Few disease and pest conditions. Typically has a rounded growth habit, but may need pruning to keep it's shape. Prune after flowering. Can tolerate many soil conditions.


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

Alfred, Maine
Birchwood, Wisconsin

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