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Berberis trifoliolata (Agarita, Texas)

Agarita, Texas

Berberis trifoliolata

Agarita is a resilient and attractive evergreen shrub native to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, prized for its ornamental value and low-maintenance characteristics in landscaping. This versatile plant is well-suited to a variety of soil types and climates, thriving in arid and rocky environments commonly found in desert landscapes. Its holly-like foliage, adorned with sharp spines, provides year-round interest, while clusters of small, bright yellow flowers in early spring add a splash of color to garden beds and borders.

One of the most appealing features of Agarita is its ability to attract wildlife, particularly pollinators like bees and butterflies, with its nectar-rich flowers. Additionally, the tart, edible berries produced in late spring to early summer serve as a food source for birds and other small mammals, adding ecological value to landscaped areas. Its dense growth habit and thorny foliage also make it an excellent choice for creating natural barriers or hedges, providing privacy and security in garden settings. Furthermore, Agarita's tolerance to drought and minimal maintenance requirements make it a practical and sustainable choice for xeriscaping projects, reducing the need for excessive watering and maintenance in water-conscious landscapes.

While Agarita offers numerous benefits for landscaping purposes, it's essential to consider its potential for invasive tendencies in certain regions. Careful selection and placement, along with regular pruning to control its growth, can help mitigate any potential issues while still enjoying the beauty and functionality that this resilient plant brings to outdoor spaces. Overall, Agarita stands out as a valuable addition to any landscape, combining aesthetic appeal, wildlife habitat enhancement, and sustainability in a single, adaptable plant species.

The fruits are ready to harvest when they turn rose-pink. Slide a blanket underneath the branches carefully (using a broom handle to avoid getting pricked), then carefully beat the bush with the bristle side of the broom. Ripe berries should easily fall off onto the blanket, at which time you can pull it out. Google "Agarita Jelly" for recipes online.

Wildlife Plant
Thorny Barrier Hedge

Flower Color:




7 Feet



7 Feet

Interesting Notes

Limited availability due to slow propogation

USDA Hardiness Zone 7b

Characteristics & Attributes

Deer Tolerance
Full Sun
Full Sun to Part Shade
Water Needs
Toxic to Pets