Warty Barberry Berberis verruculosa

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
warted barberry


Berberis verruculosa, commonly known as the Warty Barberry, is a striking plant well-known for its dense, evergreen foliage and distinctively textured leaves. The leaves are small, glossy, and dark green with a leathery texture, often showing a puckered surface which gives them a warty appearance. Margins of the leaves are finely toothed, giving them a slightly rough edge. Throughout the seasons, the foliage maintains its vibrant color, offering a persistent display of greenery. In spring, the Warty Barberry produces clusters of small, yellow flowers which are positioned along the undersides of the branches. The flowers give way to oval-shaped, blue-black berries that provide a stark contrast to the deep green leaves and are a food source for birds and other wildlife. The plant has a bushy habit, with branches that are stiff and straight, covered in sharp thorns that make it quite formidable as a protective hedge. These thorns, coupled with the dense foliage, make the Warty Barberry an excellent choice for borders where a barrier is desired. The plant's overall appearance is enhanced by its rugged and hardy nature, which allows it to thrive in various conditions without significant care or attention. Its compactness and durability, along with ornamental qualities, make it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add structure and year-round interest to their landscapes without worrying about scale.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Warty Barberry, Warted Barberry

    • Common names

      Berberis verruculosa.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Warty Barberry (Berberis verruculosa) is considered to possess a certain level of toxicity due to the presence of alkaloids, particularly berberine, which can be found throughout the plant. Ingesting any part of Warty Barberry may lead to adverse health effects such as stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, and could potentially lead to low blood pressure and respiratory issues in severe cases. However, the seriousness of the symptoms often relates to the amount of plant material consumed.

    • To pets

      Warty Barberry (Berberis verruculosa) is also toxic to pets due to the same alkaloids affecting humans, such as berberine. If pets ingest parts of this plant, they could exhibit symptoms similar to those in humans, which include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing and lowered blood pressure. The severity of the toxicity in pets depends on the size of the pet and the amount of plant material ingested. It is advisable to seek veterinary assistance if you suspect your pet has consumed any part of a Warty Barberry.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      4 feet (1.22 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Berberis verruculosa, commonly known as Warty Barberry, is often used in gardens and landscapes for its attractive foliage and yellow flowers that add aesthetic appeal.
    • Drought Resistance: The plant is known for its ability to withstand dry conditions, making it suitable for xeriscaping and water-conserving gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: Warty Barberry requires minimal care once established, making it a convenient choice for gardeners seeking low-maintenance plants.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The berries of the Warty Barberry provide food for birds and other wildlife, thereby supporting local biodiversity.
    • Thorny Deterrent: The plant's thorns can act as a natural deterrent for animals and unauthorized human access, offering a degree of security to the area where it is planted.
    • Erosion Control: Its root system can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion, particularly on slopes and banks.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antibacterial: Berberis verruculosa contains compounds that may help fight bacterial infections.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The plant may have anti-inflammatory properties that could reduce inflammation in the body.
    • Antioxidant: The presence of certain chemicals can provide antioxidant benefits, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals.
    • Hepatoprotective: There may be liver-protecting effects that help support liver health.
    • Antipyretic: Compounds in Berberis verruculosa might be effective in reducing fever.
    Please note, scientific studies on the medical properties of Berberis verruculosa are limited and more research is needed to fully understand its potential therapeutic uses. Always consult with a healthcare provider before using any plant for medicinal purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Berberis verruculosa, commonly known as Warty Barberry, can be used as a natural barrier due to its dense and thorny nature, effectively deterring human and animal intrusion.
    • Its wood, being hard and durable, may be utilized in crafting small tools or intricate woodworking projects.
    • The bright yellow roots can be used to produce a natural dye for textiles, yielding a vibrant color.
    • The plant's ornamental qualities make it suitable for bonsai, providing a year-round interest with its foliage, flowers, and berries.
    • Warty Barberry can be planted as part of a wildlife garden, offering shelter and berries as food for birds and other animals.
    • It can be included in coastal landscaping designs as it is relatively tolerant to salt and wind, making it suitable for such harsh environments.
    • Fruit of the Warty Barberry can be used as an additive in jams or jellies after proper preparation to remove any toxic substances.
    • Its dense and prickly branches can be used in crafting natural wreaths or decorative barriers for garden sections.
    • The leaves provide a unique texture and color contrast in floral arrangements, especially in the autumn when they turn reddish.
    • The plant can serve an educational purpose, being used in botanical studies due to its distinctive morphological characteristics.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Warty Barberry is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Warty Barberry is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection - Berberis verruculosa, commonly known as Warty Barberry, often possesses sharp thorns, which have historically been associated with protection. They are thought to symbolize the ability to safeguard oneself or one’s property from external threats.
    • Adversity and Tenacity - The Warty Barberry is known for its hardiness and ability to thrive in challenging conditions. This characteristic makes it a symbol of overcoming adversity and standing strong in the face of difficulty.
    • Sharpness - Owing to the thorns and the slightly acidic taste of its berries, the Warty Barberry can represent sharpness, both in a literal sense and metaphorically in terms of wit or intellect.

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

    Warty Barberry requires moderate watering and should be watered deeply once every week during the growing season, with about 1 to 2 gallons per watering session. The soil should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings, but not completely. In winter, reduce the frequency to once every two to three weeks depending on the climate and indoor conditions. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so ensure proper drainage.

  • sunLight

    Warty Barberry thrives in full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot would be a location where it can receive at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. While the plant can tolerate some light shade, too much shade can result in fewer flowers and a less dense growth habit.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Warty Barberry is hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the ideal temperature range for this plant is between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Warty Barberry to maintain shape and encourage new growth, best done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Thinning out old branches every few years helps to rejuvenate the plant. Remove any dead or damaged branches as they appear to maintain the plant's health and appearance.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Warty Barberry prefers well-drained loamy soil with a pH ranging from slightly acidic to neutral. A mix containing garden compost, peat, and perlite would be ideal to ensure good drainage and aeration. The soil mix should be rich in organic matter to provide the necessary nutrients.

  • plantRepotting

    Warty Barberry does not need to be repotted often, as it can be quite slow-growing. Repotting every 2 to 3 years should suffice, ensuring to use a well-draining soil mix and only slightly increasing the pot size to avoid oversaturating the roots.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Warty Barberry thrives in moderate humidity conditions; it does not require a particularly humid environment. Average room humidity should be adequate, avoiding excessively dry air which could cause leaf desiccation or indoor heating sources that could reduce humidity levels.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, avoid overwatering, provide good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sunny spot with well-drained soil; protect from harsh winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      6-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Berberis verruculosa, commonly known as Warty Barberry or Warted Barberry, begins its life cycle with seed germination, generally in spring, after stratification to overcome dormancy. Seedlings establish in partial to full sun, in well-drained soils, and undergo a period of vegetative growth where they develop characteristic spiny, evergreen leaves and a woody stem. As the plant matures, it enters the flowering stage, producing yellow, bell-shaped flowers in late spring to early summer, which are pollinated by insects. Following pollination, the flowers develop into small, blue-black berries, enclosed in a warty texture, which ripen by late summer to fall and serve as a food source for birds and small mammals, aiding in seed dispersal. The plant reaches maturity in several years and can live for decades, during which it will flower and fruit annually. In favorable conditions, Berberis verruculosa creates dense thickets, expanding both through seed dispersal and vegetatively by producing new shoots from the root system.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating the Warty Barberry (Berberis verruculosa) is by seed. Seeds should be collected from ripe berries in the fall and then subjected to cold stratification, a process that mimics natural winter conditions, to break seed dormancy. This typically involves mixing the seeds with a moist substrate such as sand or peat moss and storing them in a refrigerator at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) for approximately 3 to 4 months. After cold stratification, the seeds can be sown in pots or a prepared seedbed in the spring. Germination can be slow and erratic, but once the seedlings have developed true leaves and reached a sturdy size, they can be transplanted to their final location outdoors. It's important to protect the young plants from extreme weather and pests until they are well established.