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Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea Harlequin



Robust specimen shrub with deep purple marbled foliage

An oldie but goodie. This variety has been proving its worth in gardens for many years but still steals the show with its luminous leaves which are speckled pink, grey green and white. Yellow flowers cover its stems in late spring and the whole plant becomes a bright red beacon in autumn before the leaves fall. Ideal for brightening a border, where the arching stems make a colourful backdrop to other plants.


Happiest in a sunny spot in any soil that's not waterlogged in winter.


Water well until established. Cut back any long stems to keep tidy in late summer.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available March - September
Season of interest Autumn, Spring, Summer
Flowering March - May
Evergreen No
Plant height 50 cm - 100 cm
Plant width 50 cm - 100 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Hazardous All parts highly toxic if eaten
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 50 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H7

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, Coastal or drought resistant, City garden, Courtyard garden, Flower border and beds, Banks and slopes

Typically available

From March to September