Berberis thunbergii 'Admiration'
Burgundy leaves framed with a golden border adorn this beautiful compact shrub. The 'Admiration' barberry sheds its foliage to reveal eye-catching red stems in the winter. Pest resistant, drought tolerant, and low maintenance, this sturdy addition to your garden does not ask for a lot of attention. Color is best in full sun, and mature size is a manageable 2 by 2 feet tall and wide. Plant this in a low hedge surrounding a vegetable garden to deter deer and rabbits; or intermix this deciduous shrub with an evergreen such as distylium or gardenia to have year-round interest. The tones of 'Admiration' look lovely planted alongside 'Gold Mop' cypress, 'Blue Star' juniper, or variegated Carex grass, creating a stunning mix of colors and textures.
Berberis thunbergii, as a species, has edible leaves and berries--both of which are very tart, packing a high vitamin C content as well as having other reported medicinal uses. There is a history of adding barberry fruits (normally the European variety, which is sweeter) to jams. If you don’t want to taste some lemony leaves, you could try your hand at making a yellow dye from the roots or stem trimmings. This ornamental has more than one use!