Crimson Pygmy Barberry

Berberis thunbergii var 'Atropurpurea nana'

An exceptionally popular deciduous shrub, Crimson Pygmy Barberry is a striking workhorse ornamental with year-round interest. Small reddish-purple ovate leaves emerge in spring on densely compact and thorny stems. Small yellow flowers are insignificant but fragrant. Bright berries develop and remain after leaves fall in autumn, providing winter interest and food for birds. This barberry produces fewer seeds than other varieties but may be invasive in some areas.

I recently planted one on a south-facing slope under a giant Douglas fir. The soil is quite dry due to the mid-day sun blast and root competition. I think this is the perfect plant for this spot, though it will likely eventually be too shaded by the surrounding trees. I’m hoping to enjoy a couple of years of Crimson Pygmy’s stunning foliage before that happens.

Companion Plants for Crimson Pygmy Barberry

Boxwood, Chamaecyparis, Potentilla, Spirea, Weigela

      • Light Requirement

      Nursery Tag

      2-3' tall and wide. Deer resistant, drought tolerant.

      Gardener's Log

      06/2023: Planted 1, 1 gallon west of large boulder in creek garden near Doug fir

      Crimson Pygmy Barberry 'Nana' new planted in a garden bed with salal and rose campion.

      Photo taken June 2022

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