Berberis Royal Burgundy
Berberis thunbergii, commonly called Japanese barberry, is a spiny, broad-rounded, deciduous shrub with obovate green leaves. It typically matures to 5' tall and as wide. Leaves (variably sized to 1 1/4” long) typically turn attractive shades of orange, yellow and red in fall. Forma atropurpurea have red to purple-red foliage.Genus name comes from the Latinized form of the Arabian name for the fruit.Specific epithet honors Swedish botanist Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828) who reportedly identified this species in Japan in 1784.‘Gentry’, commonly sold under the trade name of ROYAL BURGUNDY, is a dense, compact, low-mounding shrub that typically grows to 24-30" tall and to 40" wide. It was discovered growing in a bed of Berberis 'Crimson Pygmy' plants at the Leo Gentry Wholesale Nursery in Gresham, Oregon in 1989. Leaves emerge rich burgundy in spring but mature to soft reddish-black. Tiny, bell-shaped, pale yellow flowers (to 1/2” long) bloom in March-April in short racemes along spiny, reddish purple stems. Three-parted spines at the leaf bases are distinctive for this cultivar. Glossy, ellipsoid, bright red berries mature in fall and persist into winter. The berries are attractive to birds. U.S. Plant Patent PP9,461 was issued on March 5, 1996.