JAPANESE BARBERRY

Berberis thunbergii

BERBERIS FAMILY (Berberidaceae)


Description
This native of Japan was introduced to this continent as an ornamental shrub. It is considered a noxious weed today. It grows 3-6 feet tall and has spoon-shaped leaves in clusters alternate on straight twigs. These leaf clusters are joined by a bundle of cream-colored flowers on stalks (pedicels) and a single thorn (A). The leaves turn yellow, later red by October (C). The fruit is a bright red, egg-shaped drupe, which can often be seen on this shrub well into winter (B).

Occurrence
Grows mostly on the floodplain, but in upland woods as well, flowering in April and May. In Fontenelle Forest, uncommon, for instance along Cottonwood Trail. At Neale Woods, rare along Paw Paw Trail.

Comments
This highly invasive plant is being controlled by uprooting.



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