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Red Barberry, Red Berberis
Mahonia haematocarpa (Berberis haematocarpa)


Red barberry is similar to agarita (B. trifoliolata) and Texas mahonia (B. swayseyi), with a profusion of fragrant yellow flowers in spring, stiff, spiny, holly-like leaves, and bright red berries, from which it gets its common name. The main difference is that each pinnately compound leaf has five to nine leaflets vs. agarita's three, and it often grows larger than the other two. These three low-maintenance, evergreen barberries are excellent for southwestern landscapes, as specimen or hedges and especially as barrier plants and wildlife cover. Birds and small mammals love the fruit, which also makes a delicious jelly. They are adaptable to different soils as long they are well-drained. Red barberry grows from the mountains of the Trans-Pecos west to Arizona. Since it grows in higher elevations, some experts recommend supplemental water when grown in deserts or other lower hot locations.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: yellow

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: red berry

Height: 5 to 6.5 feet

Width: 5 to 6.5 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments:

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