Scientific Name: Berberis thunbergii

Common Name: Japanese barberry

Synonyms: Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea

Habit: Shrub with thorns from Japan that can invade pastures, forests, and roadsides.

Leaves: Spatulate to obovate (oval that taper at the base) leaves that are alternate. Leaves taper towards the petioles and are 0.5 to 2.5 cm long and 5-15 mm wide.

Identifying Characteristics: Shrub with red berries and leaves that taper towards the base. Has mostly simple thorns but sometimes thorns that branch.

Flower Seed Head: Flowers are solitary or occur in small clusters. They are red and about 1 cm wide.

Seed Fruit: Red berries that are about 1 cm wide.

Where Found: Found in roadsides, pastures, woodlands, and thickets.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Shrub

  • Thorns: Present

  • Plant family: Berberidaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: oval; spatulate

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: yellow

  • Growth habit: woody bush or tree

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil; dime

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf