Darwin's barberry (Berberis darwinii) flowers
Photo by Flickr user Eric Hunt

Darwin's barberry


  • This plant has a Plant Risk Evaluator rating of High Potential Risk
  • This plant has been rated Watch by the California Invasive Plant Council


Darwin's barberry is a dense, medium-sized evergreen shrub that is native to Chile and southern Argentina. It has glossy green, sparsely-spined leaves, bright orange flowers, and blue-black berries. Seeds can be dispersed by birds up to 450 meters away from the source population (PRE evaluation).

Some sightings of this plant naturalizing close to the coast in San Mateo, Marin, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties. See Calflora for a map of observations in California.

Another alternative to consider is Nevin's barberry (Berberis nevinii), an attractive California native shrub with bright yellow flowers and berries that are attractive to birds.

Why is this plant not included on the invasive plant list?

Berberis darwinii was included as a candidate plant in the 2017 nursery survey. It was found at only 1.3% of nurseries during the survey. Plants must be found at 3% or more nurseries during the survey to be added to the invasive plant list.

More information

For more information about this plant, please see the following resources: