Purple Japanese barberry - Berberis thunberbii ‘Atropurpurea'

Purple Japanese Barberry Shrub
Purple Japanese Barberry Shrub

Purple Japanese barberry ‘Atropurpurea'

Purple Japanese barberry ‘Atropurpurea’ is perhaps the most popular variety of the species. It is a perennial, spiny deciduous bush that gets from the 2nd to the 5th year, almost the final size.

It has a height of between 1 and 1.5 m (3.2-5 ft) and a diameter of 0.5 to 1 m (1.6-3.2 ft), while it is extremely compact in appearance, although it sometimes happens that its young shoots give a more free form to the plant.

Its shape is ellipsoid – spherical, its crown is symmetrical while its texture is characterized as fine.

Under ideal circumstances Purple Japanese barberry lives for more than 25 years

Purple Japanese Barberry 'Atropurpurea' - Description

The plant grows many stems of the root, dark brown in color, and is multi-branch. The bark is thin, greyish brown in color and yellow inside.

On the nodes of the stems grow the spines of the plant 1 to 1.5 cm long, from the base of which the leaves come out.

The leaves are simple, alternating, appear in rosettes, are obovate to spatulate and 1.5 to 2.5 cm long. Their color varies depending on stage of development, season and exposure.

The young leaves have a rich and deep red color that gradually turns dark green, while in autumn, just before the fall, it turns orange into red shades.

It is worth noting that the red color of the leaves occurs only when the plant is completely exposed to the sun. Otherwise, if planted in a semi-shady or shady position the leaves become green – which is true of all Japanese barberry varieties.

Flowers of the plant appear at the end of Spring in elongate racemes,

growing in contracted umbel-like clusters, 2-5 together, are bisexual but do not have any particular decorative value. The fruits are oval solid berries, 0.8-1.5 cm long, red in color, and remain in the plant until almost the following spring.


The use of the material, where third-party rights are not mentioned, is absolutely free. Its sharing, possibly, useful.


This variety of Japanese Barberry is suitable for:

  • Specimen
  • Informal hedges
  • Mass plantings
  • Pots & containers
  • Urban planting
Leaves and Thorns of Purple Japanese barberry
Leaves and Thorns of Purple Japanese barberry
Purple Japanese Barberry Shrubs
Purple Japanese Barberry Shrubs


Skip to content