May 9, 2014

Dunes In Bloom: California Barberry

barberry 4 700x300This month we are highlighting the California Barberry(Berberis pinnata Lagasca). The California Barberry grows along rocky slopes and coastal bluffs in the coastal scrub, chaparral, woodlands and forests below 4000 ft. It can be found as far north as Oregon and as far south as Baja California. The California Barberry looks similar to Oregon Grape but its leaves have crinkled or wavy edges that are more sharply divided. Most plants reach 4 to 8 feet tall and low and long branches run along near the ground and quickly populate an area.

In spring time, its brightly colored new growth has bronze, copper and reddish hues. California Barberry’s upright stems bear 1-2 inch long clusters of yellow flowers which later are later followed by dark blue autumn berries. The berries are edible and are high in vitamin C and B and Iron. They can also be used as an effective natural treatment for stomachaches and heartburn. barberry 3

California Barberry is a drought tolerant plant and offers many benefits to a Central Coast Garden. Information given here is from the plant guide, California Native Plants for the Garden, available at the Dunes Center.

Visit this native plant and more at our native garden. Check it out!

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