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At the bottom of this article you will find a list of the eleven different types of barberry available for use in gardens in Canada. Why such a short list? Well, it turns out that since the 1960’s, the genus of plants Berberis have had an import ban placed on them. This means that despite the many attractive varieties of barberry that are available in the United States and the U.K., we are unable to grow them here in Canada. The Canada Food Inspection Agency placed a ban on Berberis  to control the spread of a fungal disease that causes stem rust on wheat and other cereal crops. The import ban is matter of national interest, then! Until a new variety of barberry is shown to be resistant to the disease, it is illegal to propagate it or plant it in Canada. That said, there are quite a few cultivars with great characteristics available for purchase.

berberis ruby carouselA recent discovery is a cultivar called ‘Ruby Carousel’. This barberry retains the basic characteristics of all barberry: arching stems, fine thorns, cinnamon-coloured bark, growth size 4-6’ wide and tall, yellow flowers and deciduous. ‘Ruby Carousel’ has arching branches, but its form is more upright than wide. Its leaves are a rich colour of burgundy-red, and it looks as though it will be a show-stopper in the garden.

As promised, here is the list of available cultivars of Berberis.

Botanical name Industry/Common name
B. thunbergii Aurea Nana Aurea Nana Barberry
B. thunbergii “Monomb” Cherry Bomb Cherry Bomb® Barberry
B. thunbergii Concorde Concorde Barberry
B. thunbergii “Tara” Emerald Carousel Berberis “Tara”, or Emerald Carousel® Barberry
B. thunbergii “Monlers” Golden Nugget Golden Nugget™ Barberry
B. thunbergii “Bailgreen” Jade Carousel B. thunbergii “Bailgreen”, or Jade Carousel® Barberry
B. thunbergii Rose Glow B. thunbergii “Rose Glow” or Rose Glow Barberry
B. thunbergii “Gentry” Royal Burgundy B. thunbergii “Gentry”, or Royal Burgundy® Barberry, or B. thunbergii “Gentry Cultivar”
B. thunbergii Royal Cloak Royal Cloak Barberry
B. thunbergii “Bailone” Ruby Carousel Ruby Carousel® Barberry
B. thunbergii “Monry” Sunsation Sunsation® Barberry