Berberis thunbergii ‘Concorde’
This dwarf barberry almost has the color of concord grape jelly that we buy at the store, does it not? A beautiful rich purple, this varietal starts with small yellow flowers in the spring that the leaves quickly overtake. In the fall, the hue will become more reddish before the leaves drop, adding more variety before the dark thorny stems stand behind in tribute before the next growing season kicks off again. Deer resistant, don’t let the thorns scare you! Mixing with the other dwarf barberries will bring some interesting color to any landscape.
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!