BERBERIS or BARBERRY

FLOWERING SHRUB. Indispensable, evergreen and deciduous flowering shrubs, many with handsome berries. They succeed on almost any soil and the only pruning needed is after flowering when they may be cut back to keep them to their allotted space. They are best moved as small plants, about 2 ft. high. Increase by 3 or 4 in. long cuttings taken in late July. It is often 5 or 6 months before they are rooted. Berberis Darwinii is an erect grower and varies in height from 8 ft. to 15 ft. depending on soil and situation. The small evergreen leaves are dark green, the fragrant flowers orange-coloured and produced in early May. They are followed by dark purple berries. B. linearifolia is richer-coloured and rather less vigorous than Darwinii. B. stenophylla grows to about 8 ft. with golden-yellow fragrant flowers, more graceful in habit (though very prickly!) and very popular for hedges. It should be trimmed after flowering. B. polyantha (Prattii) produces grape-like clusters of small red fruits. It is deciduous. B. hypokerina reaches about 5 ft. with purple stems and 6 in. long holly-like leaves which are white beneath. The berries are dark blue with thick, white bloom.

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