What is this flowering hedge?

I go for a lot of walks around the neighborhood these days. The other day, I came across this bright flowering hedge on one of my walks:

These tiny orange flowers are so pretty, but what is it?

After a number of other google searches, I came up with Darwin’s Barberry! Hmmm…interesting…. This plant gets its name from Charles Darwin, who first discovered it in South America.

The flowers will eventually develop into berries, which are edible and (FYI, Dad) apparently high in nutrients!

Berberis darwinii – PlantRight
Image from: https://plantright.org/watch/berberis-darwinii/

But don’t get too excited — it’s not native to the PNW, and, in fact, it’s considered an invasive species in some areas, such as New Zealand. PlantRight.org says it’s on the “watch” list of potentially invasive plants in California, and suggests planting Oregon Grape (Mahonia) instead, which is also in the Barberry family. The Oregon State University website doesn’t mention anything about it being invasive in Oregon or Washington, but they do point out that it’s not native. Too bad.

Oregon grape is fine, I guess….I just don’t particularly care for its bright yellow flowers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What Is Oregon Grape? Uses and Side Effects
Image form: healthline.com
Tall Oregon Grape, Mahonia aquifolium | Native Plants PNW
Image from: nativeplants.com

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