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Berberis Thunbergii atropurpurea, Purple Japanese Barberry

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A commonly grown ornamental plant. Plants can be pruned back quite severely, they resprout well from the base.

Plants can be grown as a medium-size hedge. They are very tolerant of trimming and have prickles which make them an effective barrier to larger creatures.

It makes a dense covering when planted 30cm apart each way.

A yellow dye is obtained from the root and branches.

Prefers a warm moist loamy soil but it is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils. Prefers a lime-free soil according to one report. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in full sun or light shade.

May require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so should be kept well ventilated. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame. If growth is sufficient, it can be possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the autumn, but generally it is best to leave them in the cold frame for the winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year.

Edible uses

Fruit - raw or cooked. Dry with a very poor flavour. The fruits are about 8mm long. 
Leaves - cooked.

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