Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Japanese Barberry - Berberis thunbergii   de Candolle
Members of Berberidaceae:
Members of Berberis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Ranunculales » Family Berberidaceae
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Authorde Candolle
DistributionMostly the Mountains and Piedmont; also Lenoir County. Collections from Avery, Rowan, and Wilson counties appear to be cultivated plants.

Native of Japan; in N.A. in the midwestern and northeastern states, south to GA and MO; also maritime Canada.
AbundanceUncommon but probably increasing and spreading.
HabitatMontane slopes, deciduous forests, slopes by creeks and rivers, alluvial woods, weed at quarry. As it can and does occur into forests and woodlands, it has the potential to be quite invasive and impact native species.
PhenologyFlowering March-April, fruiting May-September.
IdentificationJapanese Barberry is a deciduous shrub mostly 3-6 feet tall with spines at the nodes. Leaves are 1/2-1 inch long and obovate, with entire margins; the rare native B. canadensis has bristly/serrate margins. Flowers 1-5 in umbels, yellow; berries are bright red.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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US Status
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USACE-empFACU link
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B.A. SorrieNew Hope Bottomlands, south of US 15-501, base of mesic slope. DurhamOther_non_natural
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