Ever so often a chance purchase of a shrub gives a pleasant surprise. Berberis koreana ‘Red Tears’ was one such purchase and it is certainly worth considering for any garden.
Berberis, commonly known as barberry, is a large genus of deciduous and evergreen shrubs from 1–5 m tall found throughout the temperate and subtropical regions of the world. Extremely hardy, Berberis koreana (Korean Barberry) is certainly one to consider for almost any garden. Berberis koreana grows with a dense, oval to rounded habit, at a moderate rate, up to 4-6 ft/120-180 cm tall and wide. It performs best in full sun to part shade, in dry to moist, well-drained soils and is not fussy about soils provided they are not soggy or wet. The main Berberis koreana cultivar is ‘Red Tears’
Berberis koreana ‘Red Tears’ will give four seasons of interest:-
This semi-evergreen shrub is native to the Korean peninsula and Japan. Its bark is reddish brown and the twigs are densely armed with short spines in groups of one to five. At this stage the main interest are the very crisp green leaves.
In mid-spring, this small, multi-stemmed. semi-evergreen shrub produces striking pendulous clusters of golden-yellow flowers. At this stage the flowers are beginning to hang in clusters but are not fully open. The leaves are also getting a red tint to their edges
By now the flowers are fully open and have quite a “honey” scent which fills the still evening air.
The flowers are followed by an abundance of tiny oval fruits which at this stage are yellow tinged with red.
The fruits ripen to bright red by the fall and are attractive to birds.
and then persist across the winter. Therefore extending the season of interest of this ornamental shrub.
Overall Berberis koreana ‘Red Tears’ is an excellent shrub giving year round interest with virtually no maintenance.
Other points to consider:
Fairly pest-free, easy to grow and to care for. Light pruning may be required to maintain a lovely shape. Drought tolerant and deer resistant, what more could you wish for!
Perfect choice as a single specimen plant or massed in borders, for foundation plantings or as an informal barrier, screen or hedge.
The shrub can sucker from the roots and form colonies