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Berberis darwinii


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Key information

Plant type

Evergreen shrub

Flower colour



Flowers, Fruit, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


photo by Geoff Kidd, copyright GAP Photos (26603)

Plant details

An early-flowering species discovered in South America in 1835 by Charles Darwin, this is one of the best flowering evergreens. The dense thicket of stems growing from ground level make a substantial border shrub as well as an effective hedge, reinforced by its thorniness, which makes it useful for security. In addition, orange flowers are carried in spring, and small purple-black berries in autumn. It is equally impressive grown in full sun or partial shade, against a wall or in an exposed position. Clip fairly hard in spring to limit the size. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Berberidaceae

Genus: Berberis

Species: darwinii

Plant type: Evergreen shrub

Flower colour: Orange

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Flowers, Fruit, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 300cm

Spread: 300cm

Time to plant seeds: October to December

Time to take cuttings: May to July

Flowering period: April to May

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