Illustrated Guide to
of New Zealand
Weeds of New Zealand
by Ian Popay, Paul Champion & Trevor James
ISBN 0 473 09760 5
by kind permission of the
Zealand Plant Protection Society
Publication or other use of images or descriptive
text on these pages is unauthorised unless written permission is
obtained from the authors and publisher.
of the publication Common Weeds of New Zealand must always
Available from Touchwood
evergreen or semi-deciduous shrub often 2-3 m tall, sometimes used
as a hedge plant. Characterised by its very sharp spines that are
single or divided into three. Small yellow flowers followed by small
purple berries covered in a white bloom.
Petals and sepals yellow, flowers 5-7 mm in diameter, with an
unpleasant smell. In many-flowered drooping simple or compound
inflorescences up to 6 cm long. Flowers Oct-Nov.
Small, purplish, oblong berries, 7-12 mm long, with a white bloom.
Seeds are dispersed by birds.
Elliptical to ovate, up to 7.5 cm long by 2.5 cm wide and often
The main stems have yellowish-grey bark and very sharp, single
or three-pronged thorns, up to 2 cm long, in the leaf axils.
Waste places, reverting
hill country, scrub, forest margins and former house sites.
Locally common in
some higher rainfall lowland areas in NI and the northern half
of SI. Originally from the western Himalayas.
Planted as a hedge
in many parts of NZ, and has spread out of control in many areas,
especially on broken or hilly ground where control is difficult
and intense stock grazing (for controlling seedlings) is harder
to achieve. Barberry is subject to Pest Plant Management Strategies
in several regions of NZ. Details are available from the regional
councils or unitary authorities.
Darwin's barberry (Berberis
darwinii) is an evergreen shrub up to 4 m tall, with attractive,
deep orange flowers in simple drooping racemes up to 7 cm long
and dark purple berries with a bluish-white bloom. The small,
shiny dark green holly-like leaves alternate in clusters of three
to five, together with five-pronged, needle-sharp spines. This
species flowers Jan-Dec, and is found in scrub, forest and plantation
margins, road-sides, being locally common in Wellington and Wairarapa
in NI and very common from central Canterbury to Southland in
SI and Stewart Island. Listed on the National
Pest Plant Accord (see Introduction for details). European
barberry (Berberis vulgaris) occurs around old homesteads
and in some plantations, in inland Canterbury and Otago. It is
a deciduous shrub up to 2 m high, losing its leaves in winter,
and with oblong, red fruits.
of botanical name
(from the Arabic) = barberry; glaucocarpa (Lat.) = fruit
with a bloom.