Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
The PA Department of Agriculture added Japanese Barberry, or Berberis thunbergii, to a list of noxious weeds — plants that cannot be legally sold or cultivated in the state. The popular, non-native, ornamental shrub forms dense, prickly thickets that crowd out plants and disrupt native ecosystems. It is also thought to harbor black-legged ticks that spread lyme disease. The ban on sale and cultivation took effect October 8, 2021. Enforcement of the ban will be phased in over two years to allow time for nurseries to eliminate it from their stock, find non-harmful alternatives, and develop seedless, sterile varieties that pose less threat to the environment and agriculture. Landscape and nursery businesses will receive notices of the timeline, procedures and exemption process for sterile varieties. Property owners should consider eliminating the shrubs on their land.
Effective October 8, 2021, the department added two other plants to the noxious weed list: garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata, and Japanese stiltgrass, Microstegium vimineum. These plants are generally not sold in nurseries but are invasive and common in Pennsylvania. Landowners with these plants on their property are encouraged to remove them.
Distribution / Maps / Survey Status
The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Japanese Barberry.
Council or Task Force
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).
Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes Collaborative.
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.
State and Local Government
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for plant species (trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and aquatic plants) that have impacted the state's natural lands
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Pennsylvania State University. Cooperative Extension.
- DeGasperis, B.G., and G. Motzkin. 2007. Windows of opportunity: historical and ecological controls on Berberis thunbergii invasions. Ecology 88(12):3115-3125.
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Berberis thunbergii. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].
- Ward, J.S., T.E. Worthley, and S.C. Williams. 2009. Controlling Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC) in southern New England, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 257(2): 561-566.
- Zouhar, K. 2008. Berberis thunbergii. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.