Utah Native Plants for the Landscape: Creeping Barberry
Creeping barberry (Berberis repens) is a small, woody groundcover that is native to most of western North America. It is typically 6-24 inches tall and is characterized by evergreen compound leaves that are dull green in the summer and changing to various shades of red to purple in the winter (Fig. 1). barberry has a bright, yellow flower that develops in racemes from the leaf axil (Fig. 2).The flowers give rise to dusky, dark blue berries about 1/3 of an inch in diameter (Fig. 3). It grows most actively in the spring, but can grow at different times of year depending on conditions.
Creeping barberry prefers well-drained neutral soils, but can thrive in shallow, rocky soils. Size and vigor varies with habitat, with poor conditions producing small plants with only one shoot and one or two leaves, while favorable conditions produce more robust plants or mats of plants. But, regardless of size, creeping barberry persists widely.
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Ulev, Elena D. 2006. Berberis repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2014, December 16].
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