Barring the Barberry

In the genus, Berberis L., Barberry is a plant you best avoid. The Japanese (Berberis thundbergii) species, as well as Common Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), is prohibited and classified as a noxious weed in some states.*

Less of a problem in the shade, Japanese Barberry often grows aggressively in open fields.
Less of a problem in the shade, Japanese Barberry often grows aggressively in open fields.

If that’s not reason enough, know that studies have shown Barberry attracts black-legged ticks, the tiny carriers of Lyme disease.

Not that you'd want to brush up against a barberry bush.
Not that you’d want to brush up against a barberry bush.

Learn to identify Barberry, then stay away from it.

The inner bark of Japanese Barberry is yellow.
The inner bark of Japanese Barberry is yellow.

*Meanwhile, gardeners and landscapers should be careful: depending on where you are reading this, you may encounter an endangered species of Barberry, Berberis candadensis.

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