Berberis_0596.JPGJapanese barberry – Berberis thunbergii – is a very commonly used landscape plant in Minnesota. It has a smaller habit, colorful foliage and is often used as a deterrent because of its thorns.

Japanese barberry is a non-native landscape plant that is an extremely prolific seed generator that is known to naturalize in Minnesota. There is significant documentation showing Barberry moving in and taking over natural areas like the picture to the below from Afton State Park.

invasive barberry iiinvasive barberry

Barberry is not currently (2/2013) on the noxious or invasive weed in Minnesota. However, both Wisconsin and Minnesota are contemplating adding it soon and phase out production of the plant in nurseries.

Some varieties of Barberry do not produce large amounts of seeds and more than likely will not be phased out:

  • Crimson Pygmy
  • Gold Nugget
  • Aurea

Here is a great handout from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association that walks through the issue.