Berberis darwinii or Darwin’s Barberry is a member of the Berberidaceae family of plants. It is native to Chile and Patagonia, Argentina. Berberis darwinii is a medium-sized evergreen shrub. Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the English naturalist, discovered Berberis darwinii in 1835 during the Voyage the ‘Beagle’ and it was named in his honor.
Berberis darwinii has glossy and dark green leaves that are oblong and spiny slightly resembling a Holly plant. The flowers appear on drooping racemes in clusters of 2-5. They are orangish-yellow and tinged red in the bud. The flowers appear in spring and after flowering berries which are purple-black. Berberis darwinii grows to about 4m or 13ft tall. It is a fast-growing shrub and hardy.
Plant Berberis darwinii in moist soil in full sun or partial shade. It dislikes waterlogged soil so it is important to have well-drained soil. It requires very little pruning only to shape it, if you plan to prune then late autumn and winter is the best time. Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings. Watch out for sawfly and powdery mildew. Berberis darwinii is considered invasive in New Zealand