Darwin's Barberry

What is Darwin's barberry?

(Berberis darwinii)
Darwin's barberryGeneric Weed Distribution Map
Image: Darwin's barberry (Image: T Rudman)

  • Darwin's barberry is a weed of forest margins and plantation edges, as well as poorly managed grazing areas.
  • Darwin's barberry is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of Darwin's barberry are prohibited in Tasmania.

How to identify Darwin's barberry

  • Darwin's barberry is a spiny, evergreen shrub growing to 4 m tall. The leaves are shiny dark-green and holly-like, 2-3 cm long and grow alternately in clusters of three to five, together with five-pronged, needle-sharp spines. The stems are covered with a rusty red down. Tissues and wood are typically yellow.
  • Darwin's barberry has attractive, nine petalled, deep orange flowers in drooping clusters up to 7 cm long, and dark purple berries 6-9 mm long with a bluish-white bloom. Darwin's barberry flowers in spring and fruit set occurs in summer. Darwin's barberry can live for at least 60 years.

Darwin's barberry in Tasmania

  • Darwin's barberry has been recorded from Scottsdale in the north, Fern Tree and Cockle Creek in the south, and Williamsford in the west (see map). All populations are relatively small.
  • Darwin's barberry is a weed of marginal habitats including regenerating scrub, forest margins and plantation edges, as well as poorly managed grazing areas. Darwin's barberry can form thick impenetrable thickets that excludes other plants and form a barrier to stock, vehicles and people movement.

What is the legal status of Darwin's barberry in your area?

Detailed management and control guidelines for Darwin's barberry can be found in the Darwin's barberry Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Darwin's barberry Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.

See also
Darwin's barberry Control Guide
Statutory Weed Management Plan for Darwin's barberry
Herbicides for Darwin's barberry Control
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links

Pest Genie

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