Berberis darwinii, Darwin's Barberry, is a thorny, evergreen hedging plant or ornamental shrub. It has tiny, holly shaped leaves which carry some of the sharpest thorns in the UK... It is suitable for any well-drained soil and is shade tolerant. This vigorous little bush is one of the great all-round garden shrubs (which is why it holds an RHS Award of Garden Merit). Evergreen, prickly, clippable, flowering, scented: Berberis Darwinii has almost everything you could ask from a hedging plant or specimen bush. It looks good planted close to a wall or fence and it is happy in the dappled shade cast by overhanging trees. Even though the prickly foliage is evergreen, it still changes colour to rusty red in autumn. Berberis darwinii flowers in April, with dense clusters of fragrant, bright orange and yellow flowers bubbling out on pink stalks from underneath the green leaves. These ripen into decorative bunches of edible purple-blue berries. Grown as a hedge, you can clip it regularly into a neat, formal shape if you like. We recommend letting it grow a bit wild and hard pruning it every few years, so that you can enjoy the arching stems with their colourful flowers and fruit.
Berberis darwinii is good for hedges up to about 2 metres high.
All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
Spacing a Berberis darwinii hedge: Plant Berberis darwinii hedging at 3 plants per metre, 33cms apart.
History & uses of Darwin's Barberry: This South American species, known locally as Michay, was first identified by Charles Darwin in 1835, during the second voyage of the Beagle. It was imported to Britain by the great Cornish plant collector William Lobb in 1849.