BERBERIS. Barberry. Widespread, especially in Asia. Someday soon we will have to yield to the latest botanical pronouncements and include the plants fondly known as mahonias under this heading. For now, however, let us continue the traditional division of the groups. The following are spiny shrubs, both evergreen and deciduous. All have beautiful foliage, small, waxy flowers and interesting, sometimes colorful and tasty berries. They are useful as specimen shrubs, foundation plants, hedges and barriers (some are wickedly spiny). They thrive in full sun or light shade and most soils, with moderate to occasional watering when established. Their hardiness varies.
darwinii. Chile. An evergreen, thicket-forming shrub, growing 6-10' tall. It has arching stems, covered with toothed, shiny, deep green leaves. Yellow-orange flowers nestle among the foliage in summer, giving way to showy purplish blue berries. A magnificent shrub for screens and hedges. Hardy to 10oF or less.
x stenophylla Irwinii (B. irwinii). A hybrid of B. darwinii, above, and B. empetrifolia. It grows much more slowly than B. darwinii, eventually to a height of 4-5', and the branches are more nearly horizontal. The younger stems are slender and lined with narrow, deep green leaves. Flowers and berries are much like those of B. darwinii. Hardy to 0-10oF.