American landscapers seem to have an unquenchable love affair with Japanese barberry. It is drought and shade tolerant, and deer resistant. But studies have shown that it harbors black-legged ticks, which can carry Lyme disease. It is also invasive and covered with a thicket of sharp barbs to boot, making it unpleasant to manage, at best. Err on the side of caution and choose native alternatives over Japanese barberry for your landscaping.