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Golden Barberry Berberis thunbergii 'Aurea'

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ber-BER-is thun-BER-jee-eye
Description

'Aurea' is a golden-leaved cultivar in the Berberidaceae (barberry) family. Barberries are native to Japan and are considered invasive in some parts of the eastern USA. The flowers are not showy but the yellow leaves and fruits are. These plants have thorns. This cultivar grows 4-5 feet tall and wide and is fairly slow-growing. It spreads by creeping roots and self-seeding.

'Aurea' does best in full sun and tolerates most soils except wet clay soil. It is deer and drought tolerant and has few problems. Use as a specimen, foundation planting, barrier or hedge. Please consider using a native plant instead.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#thorns#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#deciduous shrub#yellow leaves#deer resistant#red fruits#poor soils tolerant#barrier#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#thorns#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#deciduous shrub#yellow leaves#deer resistant#red fruits#poor soils tolerant#barrier#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Berberis
    Species:
    thunbergii
    Family:
    Berberidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Wildlife Value:
    Bird will eat the fruits
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Bright red fruits in the fall
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Non-showy 1/2 inch pale yellow flowers bloom from late April to early May in short racemes along the stems.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Yellow leaves are up to 1.25 inches long and retain their color if given enough sun. Fall colors are red and orange. Simple leaves with entire margins that grow in clusters.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are angular and dark brown, bearing single spines.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Problems:
    Problem for Children
    Spines/Thorns
    Weedy