Japanese barberry Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Concorde'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Japanese barberry 'Concorde'


The 'Concorde' variety of the Japanese Barberry is a distinctive ornamental plant known for its vibrant foliage and compact form, minus the specifics of its dimensions. Its leaves present a captivating deep purple, almost maroon hue, which provides a striking contrast against many other plants in a garden. The leaves are small and rounded with smooth edges, tightly clustered along the stems, offering a dense appearance that lends itself to creating an excellent hedge or border without discussing its actual size. During the spring, the Japanese Barberry 'Concorde' adorns itself with tiny, yellow flowers that dangle in small clusters beneath the arching branches. These blossoms add a subtle yet attractive touch to the plant, although they are often overshadowed by the boldness of the foliage. As the seasons turn, the flowers give way to small, bright red berries that persist into the winter and provide a pop of color against the dreary landscape, as well as a food source for local wildlife. The plant's stems are covered in small, sharp thorns, which are a characteristic feature of the Japanese Barberry. These thorns, combined with the plant's dense habit, make it a good choice for a natural deterrent or barrier in the landscape, without having to refer to its overall size. Its ability to withstand various environmental conditions and its striking appearance throughout the year make the Japanese Barberry 'Concorde' a favorite for gardeners looking to add texture and color to their outdoor spaces.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Concorde Barberry, Japanese Barberry, Purple-Leaf Japanese Barberry

    • Common names

      Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea 'Concorde'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Japanese Barberry, specifically the cultivar Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Concorde', is known for its ornamental value rather than its toxicity. However, it is important to note that the berries, leaves, and roots may contain alkaloids that can cause mild upset if ingested in large quantities. Symptoms of poisoning from Japanese Barberry are generally uncommon and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy due to its mild toxicity. Consuming small quantities typically does not lead to serious health concerns, but it is still advisable to avoid ingesting any part of this plant.

    • To pets

      The Japanese Barberry is considered to have low toxicity for pets. While the plant does contain alkaloids that can potentially cause mild digestive upset, it is generally not hazardous. If a pet ingests large amounts of the plant, including berries, leaves, or roots, they might experience symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea. However, serious cases of poisoning from this plant are rare. Pet owners should still discourage their animals from chewing on or ingesting this plant to avoid any potential discomfort.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Compact Size: 'Concorde' Japanese barberry is a dwarf variety, making it suitable for small spaces and as a low hedge in landscaping.
    • Attractive Foliage: This cultivar has deep purple foliage throughout the growing season, adding rich color contrast to the garden.
    • Low Maintenance: It is known for being relatively low maintenance, requiring little pruning or special care once established.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is drought-tolerant, making it suitable for xeriscaping and arid environments.
    • Disease Resistance: It displays good resistance to pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Ideal for Mass Planting: Due to its uniform shape and size, it is an excellent choice for creating a cohesive look in mass planting designs.
    • Winter Interest: The shrub retains its structure and can provide winter interest in the landscape, even when deciduous.
    • Wildlife Habitat: While it provides limited wildlife benefits, it can offer some shelter for birds and small animals.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography backdrops: The deep burgundy foliage of the Japanese barberry 'Concorde' can create a stunning contrast in garden photography.
    • Fabric dyeing: The bright red berries can be boiled down to produce a natural dye for fabrics.
    • Bonsai: Because of its small size and attractive foliage, it can be trained as a bonsai specimen.
    • Wildlife shelter: Its dense, thorny branches offer protection for birds and small animals.
    • Culinary garnish: While not commonly consumed, the berries can be used as a garnish for certain dishes after proper processing.
    • Seasonal crafts: Branches with berries can be included in autumnal wreaths and decorations.
    • Erosion control: The plant's dense root system can help stabilize soil on slopes and prevent erosion.
    • Feng Shui: Some people use this plant in their gardens to balance energy, following the principles of Feng Shui.
    • Privacy hedges: With its dense growth habit, it can be planted in rows to form a living privacy barrier.
    • Themed gardens: Its unique foliage color makes it a perfect fit for 'gothic' or 'black' themed garden designs.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Japanese barberry is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Japanese barberry is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Intrigue and Complexity: Berberis thunbergii, commonly known as Japanese Barberry, often symbolizes complexity and intrigue due to its dense, thorny branches and richly colored foliage.
    • Protection: The sharp thorns of the Japanese Barberry suggest protection and defense, indicating a boundary or a safe haven.
    • Resilience: Japanese Barberry is hardy and adaptable, representing resilience and the ability to thrive in challenging conditions.
    • Bitterness: The plant's sharp spines and slightly bitter berries can symbolize the concept of bitterness or sour experiences.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Crimson Pygmy Barberry requires watering that ensures the soil stays consistently moist, but it is important to avoid letting the plant sit in overly wet or waterlogged soil to prevent root rot. Generally, providing about 1 inch of water weekly is a good starting point, adjusting for rainfall and temperature conditions. During hot, dry spells, it may require more frequent watering, while in cool, damp weather, watering can be reduced. It is best to apply water directly to the soil rather than overhead watering to minimize leaf wetness and potential disease issues. A deep watering that saturates the root zone is preferred to frequent, shallow waterings, encouraging deeper root growth and drought tolerance.

  • sunLight

    The Crimson Pygmy Barberry prefers full sun to partial shade. It thrives in areas that receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, but can tolerate some light afternoon shade. The ideal spot for this plant would be one where it is exposed to morning sunlight with some protection from the intense heat of the late afternoon sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Crimson Pygmy Barberry is hardy and can survive a wide range of temperatures, handling winter cold down to around -30 degrees Fahrenheit and summer heat up to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal growing conditions are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant is quite adaptable and can remain healthy through seasonal temperature variations typical of temperate climates.

  • scissorsPruning

    The Crimson Pygmy Barberry should be pruned to maintain shape, remove any dead or diseased wood, and promote air circulation within the plant. Early spring, before new growth begins, is the best time for pruning. This plant can also be pruned immediately after it flowers if you are trying to control its size or shape it, as it flowers on old wood. Thinning out some of the branches every few years will help light reach the interior of the plant, enhancing overall health.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Japanese Barberry 'Concorde', a well-draining soil mix is essential, comprising a blend of loamy garden soil, peat, and sand to facilitate adequate drainage. The soil pH should be mildly acidic to neutral, in the range of 5.5 to 7.5, to support optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Japanese Barberry 'Concorde' does not need frequent repotting and can be repotted every 2 to 3 years. When repotted, ensure to use a soil mix that provides good drainage and a slightly acidic to neutral pH.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Japanese Barberry 'Concorde' is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and does not require any specific humidity conditions for growth, making it versatile in various outdoor climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Grow Japanese Barberry 'Concorde' indoors with bright indirect light.

    • Outdoor

      Plant 'Concorde' in well-draining soil and full to partial sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Japanese barberry 'Concorde' begins its life as a seed, typically requiring a period of cold stratification to break dormancy prior to germination. After germination, the seedling emerges and develops into a young plant, featuring the characteristic purple-red foliage of this cultivar. As it progresses into the juvenile stage, the plant undergoes vigorous growth, establishing a compact, rounded habit with thorny branches and small, oval leaves. The mature stage is marked by its ability to flower and reproduce; 'Concorde' produces yellow flowers in spring that are followed by bright red berries if it's pollinated. These berries can be dispersed by birds or other animals, leading to new generation of plants. Over many years, the plant will reach its peak maturity, potentially becoming woody and less vigorously productive before eventually senescing and dying.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The Japanese Barberry 'Concorde' is commonly propagated through softwood cuttings taken in late spring to early summer. To do this, select healthy, new growth from the current year and cut a piece about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) long. Make the cut just below a leaf node, where the concentration of natural rooting hormones is higher. Remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting and dip the cut end into a rooting hormone powder to encourage root development. Then, stick the cutting into a pot filled with a mix of peat and perlite, ensuring that at least one or two nodes are buried where leaves were removed. Water the cutting and keep the soil moist but not water-logged and place the pot under a plastic cover or in a greenhouse to maintain high humidity. Roots typically form in a few weeks, at which point the new plants can eventually be transplanted into individual pots or into the garden.