Plants - Trees and Shrubs

Bravo barberries

By
Carol Gardner
Photography by
Monrovia

After years in exile barberries have made a glorious return

The ancient Egyptians used barberry to prevent the plague, and for centuries it was touted as a treatment for just about everything from cholera to diseases of the liver. Now, traditional medicine is taking an active interest in berberine, an alkaloid found in barberry plants.

Eleven rust-free Berberis thunbergii cultivars have been cleared for import to Canada:

  • B.thunbergii ‘Monry' Sunsation
    Compact form. Height and spread up to 120 cm; golden foliage with slight orange cast.
  • B. T. ‘Monlers' Golden Nugget
    Dwarf variety. Height 30 cm, spread 45 cm; golden foliage.
  • B. t. ‘Rose Glow'
    Fast-growing variety. Height and spread up to 150 cm; first leaves purple, new shoots burnished rose-pink and splotched with purple.
  • B. t. ‘Tara' Emerald Carousel
    Height and spread up to 150 cm; green foliage turns dark red to purple in fall.
    B. t
    . ‘Aurea Nana'
    Dwarf variety. Height and spread up to 90 cm; bright yellow summer foliage turns red in fall.
  • B. t. ‘Royal Cloak'
    Height and spread up to 150 cm; large, velvety, deep purple foliage and upright arching habit.
  • B. t. ‘Concorde'
    Dwarf variety. Height and spread up to 45 cm; velvety, deep purple foliage.
  • B. t. ‘Bailgreen' Jade Carousel
    Height 90 cm, spread 125 cm; dense, compact green foliage.
  • B. t. var. atropurpurea ‘Monomb' Cherry Bomb
    Height and spread up to 120 cm; deep crimson foliage.
  • B. t. var. a. Gentry ‘Royal Burgundy'
    Height 60 cm, spread 90 cm; beautiful reddish summer foliage turns darker in fall.
  • B. t. var. a. ‘Bailone' Ruby Carousel
    Height 90 cm, spread 100 cm; red foliage.

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