Shrubs, usually with branched spines (representing modified leaves) subtending short spurs bearing fascicled foliage leaves. Wood and pith yellow. Twigs grooved, slender; pith relatively large, round, continuous. Buds rather small, solitary, sessile, ovoid, with about 6 scales. Leaf-scars alternate, small, half-round; bundle-traces 3, minute; stipule-scars none.

Fig. 98. Berberis canadensis

Fig. 98. Berberis canadensis.

Fig. 99. Berberis vulgaris

Fig. 99. Berberis vulgaris.

Fig. 100. Berberis thunbergii

Fig. 100. Berberis thunbergii.


Twigs finely warty, slightly angled


B. canadensis


Twigs not warty

b. Twigs gray or buff


B. vulgaris

b. Twigs reddish-brown


B. thunbergii

1. B. canadensis Mill. American Barberry. A shrub 3-24 dm. high; twigs glabrous, slender, red-brown, warty; spines 3-parted, up to 12 mm. long; berries scarlet, oval or subglobose, 7-9 mm. long. Dry woodlands, mountains of West Virginia and Virginia to Georgia; also in Missouri; not native in Canada, despite the name (Fig. 98).

2. B. vulgaris L. European Barberry. A glabrous shrub 2-3 m.high, the branches arched and drooping at the ends, the twigs glabrous, gray or buff, strongly grooved; spines unbranched or mostly 3-parted; berries scarlet, ellipsoid. Introduced from Europe and abundantly naturalized in thickets (Fig. 99).

3. B. thunbergii DC. Japanese Barberry. Compact low-spreading, 0. 5-1. 5 m. high, with brown twigs and unbranched spines; berries ellipsoid to globose. Introduced from Asia, somewhat spreading,from cultivation (Fig. 100).