Golden Nugget

'Monlers' or Golden Nugget
Dwarf Barberry

"You say I touch the barberries
As a lover his mistress?
What a curious fancy!
One must be delicate, you know --
They have bitter thorns."

-Mary Aldis


The stickery deer-resistant little deciduous shrub Berberis x thunbergerii 'Monlers' is excellent as a cat or dog barrier at the garden edge. The dog is not apt to squat & poo when this tiny shrub has so many thorns!

Each shrublet grows to about a foot height & eighteen inches wide if it has a single pre-spring shearing each year. It grows to two by two feet if "let go."

'Monlers' was selected in 1977 from a group of seedlings that occured from an unintended cross of B. thunbergerii 'Aurea' with B. thunbergerii 'Kobold.'

From the same group of intraspecies hybrid seedlings was derived a second cultivar preserved & registered as 'Monry' & marketed with the trademark name 'Sunsation,' just as the registered 'Monlers' has been distributed with the catchier trademark name Golden Nugget (often truncated to Gold Nugget).

Its small bright golden leaves have orange highlights which become increasingly orange in autumn. In part shade it is very drought hardy; in full sun it needs more water, but is not nearly as prone to scorching as are so many other yellow-leafed shrubs.

Though it'll grow very well in either sun or shade, it is bushier & yellower in part shade, & helps to bring light to shaded garden edges. If grown in deep shade however, it turns to yellow-green.

It has cup-shaped very tiny yellow flowers in spring, but these are so utterly lost in the golden foliage that they are rather beside the point. With the foliage of 'Monlers' as bright as daffodils, it brings flower-like light to a garden spring through autumn just by strength of shining foliage.


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