Exploring natural history one itsy bitsy spider at a time...

Exploring natural history one itsy bitsy spider at a time...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Japanese Barberry


Japanese Barberry is an invasive plant that looks like this in fall.  Its red berries dangle from this medium sized, spiny bush as its simple leaves turn yellow and fall off.  Don't accidentally grab ahold of its branches or walk through an invaded understory in shorts, or you'll be sorry! 

This plant alters natural habitats by changing soil pH, nitrogen levels, and biological activity in soil.  It replaces beneficial native plants and reduces wildlife habitat and forage.  Japanese Barberry is still propagated and sold in nurseries for landscaping, but should be avoided.  It is considered invasive in 20 states throughout the northeast and midwest US! 

Introduced to the US in 1875 and still planted in new garden landscapes today.  Can the damage be undone?



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