Common name/s ?


Skill rating



This is a cross between Berberis darwinii and Berberis linearifolia.

Type of plant ?

Evergreen shrub.

Hardiness zone ?

RHS zone


EGF zone


USDA zone


Eventual size

3m height and spread.

Growth rate ?

A vigorous grower, will reach full height in 5 to 10 years.

Shape it grows into

Arching shrub, sometimes considered rather ‘messy’.

Season/s of interest

This shrub is evergreen, so it will give some year round interest. However, the bright flowers in mid to late spring are what this plant’s all about. Dark coloured fruits appear in early autumn.

Where to grow it

Happiest in full sun.
Prefers well drained soil.

It will grow in all normal garden soil types and any aspect. Plant against a dark background (eg dark hedging) to get the best from the spring flower display.

Berberis x lologensis 'Apricot Queen'


Glossy, dark green leaves with spines on their tips which last all year. Bright apricot-orange coloured flowers are followed by deep purple fruits.

What to use it for

This will bring colour to the back of a border, particularly if planted in front of dark hedging or a dark painted fence. The spikiness of the leaves can also provide a deterrent for boundaries. You might consider it a bit too unruly to have as hedging, though it would perform this role if you’re happy for it to be an untidy hedge.

How to look after it

Generally this shrub will require very little looking after. However, if the flowers and fruits start to appear only at the ends of the stems, you can renovate it by pruning it hard (see below) to reinvigorate the stems. This can also be done if they are outgrowing the space you have for them (although this will be an ongoing battle and you may be better off moving the plant or enlarging the space).

How to prune it

Maintenance pruning should not be necessary, except to remove any diseased or badly damaged stems. Pruning can be done in early summer after flowering or in autumn/winter after fruiting.

To renovate it, cut back all the stems to 30cm from the base of the plant. This should be done in late winter. Please note that you will lose the following year’s flowers by doing this, as you’ll have cut off all the buds. However, they will return the year after.

Please be careful to wear protective equipment when pruning this prickly shrub. This doesn’t just mean gloves – you’ll also need to have your arms and legs covered and we highly recommend wearing plastic protective glasses. Not the most glamorous look, but better than getting a thorn in your eye!

How to propagate it

These aren’t the easiest plants in the world to propagate.

The simplest method is to do mallet cuttings from midsummer and use hormone rooting compound to encourage root growth. Alternatively take hardwood cuttings from late autumn to midwinter. Protect them in a cold frame or cloche in colder climates. While easy to do cuttings can be a bit hit and miss.

A more reliable method is to graft them, although this requires a bit more expertise. A spliced side graft is recommended for this berberis.

You can also try growing from seeds collected from the ripe fruits. Either sow them outside in late winter, or layer them in sand to chill over winter before planting in spring. Fingers crossed, they should have germinated by summer.

Common problems

Generally problem free, but may suffer from powdery mildew occasionally.

Other useful information?

Eating the fruits may lead to a mild stomach upset.

Various berberis species are used around the world for their medicinal value. They contain an important anti-bacterial alkaloid called ‘berberine’ which is used in Asia to control tropical diarrhoea and certain eye diseases. It is obtained from the roots and rhizomes of various species. Around 7 tonnes of this is produced in India each year.