Darwin’s Barberry is a plant very similar to the Mahonia and also produces a fruit that is extremely similar in flavour and uses.
In fact, you may often come across a Barberry bush and mistake it for a Mahonia because they look so similar. You won’t come to any harm if you do, just bear in mind the differences. While the Mahonia berries are clustered into a grape like bunch across a stem, the Barberry hangs in bunches instead. The leaves are also the same as the Mahonia leaves, but tend to be much smaller, like a miniature version of the Mahonia. The Darwin’s Barberry bush is more commonly seen used as a hedge, whereas the Mahonia is a bit more of a stand alone plant.
Name: Darwin’s Barberry
Location: The berry of this plant, is typically found around early autumn in a plant that looks very similar to the Mahonia but smaller and often as part of a hedge.
Months: August, September
Edible Parts: Berries
Non-Edible Parts: Anything else
Darwin’s Barberry can be used very much in the same way as the Mahonia (Oregon Grape) to make jams and wine and perhaps even cordials. As a fresh fruit it is edible but a bit too tart to be a treat so is best used cooked/preserved.