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Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Red Chief'

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Shrub

Habit

Bushy

Toxicity

Ingestion may cause mild stomach upset

Resilience

Hardiness

old H4 (hardy)

Colour

Flower

Pale Yellow in Spring

Foliage

Dark Purple and Dark Red in

Fruit

Dark Red in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

1-1.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

Japanese barberry 'Red Chief'

Family

Berberidaceae


Berberis can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs with spiny shoots bearing simple, often spine-toothed leaves, and small yellow or orange flowers in axillary clusters or racemes, followed by small berries

'Red Chief' is a vigorous, spiny medium-sized deciduous shrub, habit upright to spreading, with rather narrow, purple-red leaves, becoming brighter red in autumn. Flowers pale yellow, followed by deep red berries

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grows in any well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Chalk, Clay or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Hedging/Screens or Low Maintenance


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 8

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

May be subject to powdery mildews