Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dwarf Redleaf Barberry 'Crimson Pygmy'

Dwarf Redleaf Barberry
Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea 'Crimson Pygmy'

I know a lot of people don’t like Barberry. I find it an attractive plant that can be useful. The ‘Crimson Pygmy’ Barberry is a dwarf mounding very colorful shrub. It is an easy way to get color throughout the season. The dark foliage is a nice foil for flowers and grey foliaged plants. If this plant is really happy it can grow a little bigger than what is advertised. Some hard pruning usually brings it back into shape. I also love Golden Barberry. I usually try and slip a couple of Barberry in because they are easy to grow. Most have this nice fall color and the newly emerging foliage is usually a very nice color. The only type I have had seeding is the upright columnar type called ‘Hellmond’s Pillar’. That is a nice type for a tight upright foliage accent. I still haven’t decided if the seedlings are coming true (only time will tell but the color looks good). Among some of my other favorite Barberry cultivars are:

‘Rosy Glow’, upright variegated form. Needs full sun.
'Bonanza Gold' and 'Gold Nugget' are superior gold foliage selections.
‘Ruby Carousel’ is a nice upright red.
'Bagatelle' is a very slow growing red. Much slower and smaller than ‘Crimson Pygmy’.
‘Angel Ring’ is a dense upright red form with a light green margin on the leaves.

These are just a few of the ones available! I just planted “Royal Burgundy’ and ‘Concorde’ so I will let you know how they turn out. I don’t like the Green Barberry that seeds all over the place and is, in my opinion, of little horticultural value. I remove it whenever I see it in the garden. Some people consider Barberry to be an invasive plant but that has not been my experience with the garden types.

This is a shot of ‘Ruby Carousel’ I took last year.

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