Berberis darwinii
Common name: 
Darwin Barberry
BER-ber-is dar-WIN-e-i
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 5-10 ft (1.5-3 m) high, 4-7 ft (1.2-2.1m) wide, broadly arching (fountain-like), densely branched, 3-7 parted thorns; spreads by underground runners.  Leaves alternate, simple, small, to 2-2.5 cm, stiff, holly-like, ending in 1-6 spiny teeth, shiny dark green above, pale yellow-green beneath.  Flowers showy, abundant, bright yellow-orange tinged with red, in 10 cm clusters, appear on reddened stalks in spring.  Fruit blue, dark purple or plum red, round, waxy, 6 mm long.
  • Sun to part shade.  Average well-drained soil.  Spreads by underground runners to form a thicket.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7      Native to Chile and Argentina
  • darwinii: after Charles Darwin, who discovered it in 1835, during the voyage of the Beagle.  Apparently not grown in the eastern U.S.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: northeast corner of Gilkey Hall
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flower clusters

    flower clusters

  • leaves and flowers

    leaves and flowers

  • flowering shoots and leaves, comparison

    flowering shoots and leaves, comparison

  • immature and mature fruit

    immature and mature fruit