Japanese Barberry – Berberis thunbergii

Japanese Barberry

This lovely bush has some nasty thorns that make it deer resistant! And they made me sit up and take notice when I found them on the property of a local church. We have since planted a hedgerow of them across the front of our property. We planted 18 of them, it might have been an expensive project except I found them at a local Lowe’s on clearance last fall for only $1.25 each!

Barberry was introduced to North America in 1864, and has since escaped cultivation. In some areas it is becoming a nuisance. The fruit was used in medicine and as food. The berries make a jelly used with meat! Barberry was traditionally used as a treatment for digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia (stomach upset), heartburn, and loss of appetite

A good quality yellow dye is obtained from the roots, bark, and stem. As well as being used on cloth, it is also used to stain wood. The roots boiled in lye, will dye wool yellow, and in Poland they dye leather  a beautiful yellow color with the bark of the root. The inner bark of the stems will also dye linen of a fine yellow, with the assistance of alum.

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