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You are here: Home / Plants / Species Profiles / Japanese barberry
Species Profiles

Japanese Barberry

Japanese barberry - Invasive.orgScientific name: Berberis thunbergii DC. (ITIS)

Common names: Japanese barberry

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Selected Resources

Native To: Japan (Zouhar 2008)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1875 (DeGasperis et al. 2007)

Means of Introduction: Introduced as an ornamental and promoted as a replacement for common barberry (Berberis vulgaris), which is a host for black stem rust (Zouhar 2008)

Impact: Forms dense stands that compete with native trees and herbaceous plants (Ward et al. 2009)

Current U.S. Distribution: Eastern and Midwestern U.S.

  • Invasive Species Maps
    USDA. FS. Northern Research Station.
    Maps are organized for 43 invasive plant species into five categories: trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, and grasses. Select the desired species to view the distribution information for northern states.
  • Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) - Japanese barberry
    University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
    Provides state, county, point and GIS data. Maps can be downloaded and shared.


Selected Resources:

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Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual - Japanese Barberry
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council.


Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) - Japanese barberry
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Japanese barberry
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Japanese Barberry
Vermont Invasives.

Invasive Species Compendium - Berberis thunbergii
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Berberis thunbergii (shrub)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.


Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) - Berberis thunbergii
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program.

Japanese Barberry - Invasive Plants of Asian Origin Established in the United States and Their Natural Enemies (2004; PDF | 395 KB)
USDA. Forest Service.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Berberis thunbergii
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

Japanese Barberry - An Expanded Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests (Aug 2008; PDF | 49 KB)
USDA. FS. Southern Research Station.

PLANTS Database - Japanese Barberry
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.


Invasive Species Best Control Practices - Japanese Barberry (2012; PDF | 1.72 MB)
Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Michigan Natural Features Inventory.

Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania: Japanese and European Barberry (PDF | 229 KB)
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Invasive Plants and Insects: Japanese Barberry
Pennsylvania State University. Cooperative Extension.

Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Maine Invasive Plants Bulletin: Japanese Barberry
University of Maine. Cooperative Extension.
See also: Maine Invasive Plants & Entire Series for entire series of 22 fact sheets and invasive plants brochure (available in HTML/PDF or for purchase)

Introduced Species Summary Project - Japanese Barberry
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast - Japanese Barberry
North Carolina State University. Cooperative Extension. Going Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants.


Biobullies - Japanese Barberry (PDF | 1.84 MB)
Natural Biodiversity (Western Pennsylvania).

Invasive Plant Fact Sheet: Japanese Barberry
Nature Conservancy Connecticut Chapter; Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

Japanese Barberry
Plant Conservation Alliance. Alien Plant Working Group.


DeGasperis, B.G., and G. Motzkin. 2007. Windows of opportunity: historical and ecological controls on Berberis thunbergii invasions. Ecology 88(12):3115-3125.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Berberis thunbergii. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Ward, J.S., T.E. Worthley, and S.C. Williams. 2009. Controlling Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC) in southern New England, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 257(2): 561-566.

Zouhar, K. 2008. Berberis thunbergii. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

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Last Modified: May 18, 2016
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