Berberis verruculosa

warty barberry

  • © Sten Porse

Outstanding Qualities

Warty barberry is a naturally dense grower with delicately arching branches. The small, dark evergreen leaves have bright, bluish-white undersides that add a dash of color to the shrub. However, all of this comes with a bite - the hidden stems are full of needle-sharp spines that make Berberis verruculosa an excellent barrier hedge. This tough, adaptable shrub with its distinct architectural form is a perfect choice for low-maintenance landscapes. In winter the foliage takes on a burgundy blush followed in spring by canary-yellow flowers that dangle along the underside of the stems.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: mounding shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: yellow

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Forsythia ‘Fiesta’, Helictotrichon sempervirens, Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’, Cotoneaster adpressus ‘Little Gem’, Hebe topiaria, Viburnum davidii

Great Color Contrasts: red, white, yellow

Great Color Partners: blue, bronze, chartreuse

Culture Notes
This evergreen barberry will maintain its most compact form and flower best in full sun to light shade. It will tolerate open or dappled shade but will have fewer flowers and a more open habit. It prefers a well-drained soil and will tolerate sandy and clay sites. Once established it is drought tolerant. Very little pruning is needed and can ruin its wonderfully layered habit. Only remove dead or broken branches or those limbs that are poorly formed.