‘Golden Ring’ barberry Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea
‘Golden Ring’ has burgundy leaves that don’t fade or bleach in hot summer sun and are not susceptible to rust, like other barberries. In fall, the leaves, especially in the center of the plant, turn bright orange-red, so the entire plant seems to glow. It may look like any red barberry from a distance, but it has a special touch — a thin, green-gold band on the edge of the leaves.
Speaking of color, that band around the leaf edge sometimes doesn’t show up at first on new leaves. As the weather warms up, you’ll start to see it. But make sure your ‘Golden Ring’ barberry gets at least 8 hours of sun per day for the best foliage color.
Barberries aren’t known for their flowers, but they do have small yellow spring blooms. Glossy red fall berries dangle under the branches even after the leaves drop. These berries often last into winter, as they’re not a favorite food for birds. One note of caution though, barberries can be invasive on the East Coast, so avoid them if they’re a problem in your area.
TYPE Shrub SIZE 4 to 5 ft. tall and wide BLOOM Small yellow in spring LIGHT Full sun SOIL Moist, well-drained PESTS None serious, a rust-resistant cultivar HARDINESS Cold: USDA zones 4 to 8; Heat: AHS zones 8 to 1