Shrubs or herbs, with alternate or basal, simple or compound leaves, with or without stipules, and solitary or racemed mostly terminal flowers. Sepals and petals generally imbricated in two to several series. Stamens as many as the petals and opposite them, hypogynous. Flowers perfect and pistil one in all our species. Anthers extrorse, opening by valves (except in Podophyllum). Style short; ovules 2-00, anatropous. Fruit a berry or capsule.

About 10 genera and 130 species, widely distributed in the north temperate zone, the Andes and temperate South America, a few in tropical regions.

Shrubs; fruit baccate.

Leaves unifoliolate, on short branches, in the axils of spines.

1.

Berberis.

Leaves pinnate; no spines.

2.

Odostemon.

Herbs.

Anthers opening by valves.

Pericarp early bursting, leaving two large naked stalked seeds, resembling berries.

3.

Caulophyllum,

Fruit baccate; stamens 6.

4.

Diphylleia.

Fruit capsular, half circumscissile.

5.

Jeffersonia.

Anthers longitudinally dehiscent; fruit baccate; stamens 6-18.

6.

Podophyllum.