Japanese Barberry branch and flower

Japanese Barberry leaves

Japanese Barberry leaves

Japanese Barberry

Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC) was introduced in 1875 and promoted as an ornamental substitute for common barberry (Berberis vulgaris), which is a host for black stem rust. Prevalent in the East and Midwest of the United States, it forms dense stands that compete with native trees and plants (from USDA Plant Profiles).


USDA Plant Profiles provides background, maps of U.S. distribution, and links to selected federal, state and regional resources.

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England describes the history of introduction in New England, habitats where found, similar species, management options and additional resources.

Plant Conservation Alliance includes general background information on Japanese Barberry; chemical, mechanical and manual methods to remove it; and suggests other non-invasive plants to use in its place in your landscape.

Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources -- This 7-page illustrated PDF includes recommendations of specific chemicals to use for control, ways to dispose of the plant materials, and additional resources.

Last updated June 3, 2020