Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database

Berberis pinnata ssp. pinnata

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Botanical Name: Berberis pinnata ssp. pinnata
Common Name: California Barberry

A shrub with various forms--can be upright, reclining, or vine-like. Beautiful yellow flowers. Blue berries are edible and are loved by birds. Fall foliage offers color.

Plant Family: Berberidaceae
Plant Type: Shrub
Height by Width: 5' H x 6' W
Growth Habit: Upright, reclining, or vine-like
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Moderate
Sun Exposure: Part sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to:
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: Yellow
Distribution: Northwestern, Central western CA, northern Channel Islands, Western Transverse Range, San Gabriel Mtns, Peninsular Ranges
Natural Habitat: Rocky slopes, coniferous forest, oak woodland. Elevation: below 3600'

Image:hummingbird_iconA.jpg Image:songbird_iconA.jpg Image:oak_iconA.jpg Image:butterfly_iconA.jpg

Care and Maintenance

  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "Small shrub of upright growth with rich vivid green, deeply toothed and prickly foliage. Dense clustered racemes of bright yellow flowers, followed by large blue berries. Especially desirable for its very attractive foliage. Does well in a shady place but will also stand sun. Will thrive in any garden. Gallon cans, 75c; 5 gallon cans, $2.00."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.
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