Berberis, commonly known as barberry, is a large genus of deciduous and evergreen shrubs from 1-5m tall, found throughout temperate and subtropical regions of the world (apart from Australia). Species diversity is greatest in South America and Asia; Europe, Africa and North America have native species as well.
The best-known Berberis species is the European barberry, Berberis vulgaris, which is common in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, and has been widely introduced in North America. Many of the species have spines on the shoots and along the margins of the leaves. Source: Wikipedia