Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Berberis thunbergii-atropurpurea 'Nana'

Common Name
Dwarf Japanese Barberry
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Shrub
Size
2' x 3'
Flower Color
Yellow
Bloom Time
  • Spring
Leaves
Reddish-purple
Evergreen
Deciduous
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Slow
Hardiness
Hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Attractive Berries
  • Fall Color
  • Low Maintenance
Water Use
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
Exposure
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Drainage
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This dwarf variety of Berberis has reddish puple leaves that turn to a brilliant red in fall. It received the Garden Merit Award from the Royal Horticultural Society. It makes an excellent small hedge and also adds color to a border of shrubs. Its size also makes it a good choice for rock gardens.

Plant slightly above soil grade in soil with good drainage. Tolerates light shade but needs full sun for best foliage color development. Prune to shape after flowering, so that inner leaves do not die.

Has no serious pests but can develop Black Spot and Verticillium Wilt if planted in a site with poor drainage and air circulation.

 

Master Gardener Comments
Varietals

B. thunbergii 'Bonanza Gold' - bright golden yellow foliage

B. thunbergii ' Kobold' - kelly green foliage in spring, matures to dark green in late summer

Top of page

Webmaster Email: banielsen@ucanr.edu