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Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry

Berberis thunbergii 'Golden Nugget'

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Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Golden Nugget') at Eagle Lake Nurseries

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry foliage

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Golden Nugget') at Eagle Lake Nurseries

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  19 inches

Spread:  19 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a


An exceptional garden selection with a dwarf, compact habit of growth and ravishing tiny golden leaves that retain their color all season long, often with a hint of orange; an exceptional color shrub for the mixed border, can even be used as edging

Ornamental Features

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry has attractive yellow foliage which emerges orange in spring. The small oval leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding orange in the fall. It features tiny clusters of yellow flowers hanging below the branches in mid spring. The fruits are showy scarlet drupes displayed from early to late fall.

Landscape Attributes

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a mounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and can be pruned at anytime. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry will grow to be about 19 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 19 inches. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Golden Nugget Japanese Barberry makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It can be used either as 'filler' or as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, depending on the height and form of the other plants used in the container planting. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our experts for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features