Invasive SpeciesJapanese barberry

Berberis thunbergii
FOUND by 2018eaf
Falmouth Maine
Not Yet Reviewed by Expert
Quality checked by Eliza B
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Field Notes
On Thursday October 9th 2018, my class went on a field trip to Mackworth Island to look for invasive species. I was assigned to look for Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry). At around 10 am we started walking on the trails. It was about 61ºf and cloudy. I was in a group of 5 kids who were also looking for different species. We were looking along the edge of a trail, in a coastal forest. The trail was a loop around the island, about 1.5 miles long. I found the Japanese barberry multiple times, always growing right along the edge of the trail. It grew in a shrub with multiple branches growing out almost horizontally. There were many bright red berries growing from the branches. There were also thorns that grew at every joint on the branch. It grew very frequently along the trail. The fact that it was growing so frequently shows that it is spreading rapidly. It also could be damaging other native species habitats by taking sunlight or nutrients, since not many other plants were growing around it. The japanese barberry is decreasing the amount of native species in the area, and disrupting the ecosystem in the area.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
Barb/spikes grow at every joint on the branch along a woody stem and small ovalish bright orange/red berries, multiple per stem.
Photo of my evidence.
Small 2-4 cm leaves, round edges, oval shape, green.
Photo of my evidence.
Japanese barberry grows in a shrub up to 2 meters tall with branches growing in a zigzag pattern.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Berberis thunbergii
Common name:
Japanese barberry
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.687843 °
W -70.235225 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Forest
Trip Information
2018 Mackworth Upland
Trip date: 
Thu, 2018-10-04 15:06
Town or city: 
Falmouth Maine
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey


I see this a lot around the state. I wonder how it got here?