Erect or trailing spiny shrubs with yellow wood. Leaves simple or compound, often with spinose teeth, sometimes reduced to spines. Flowers yellow, solitary, racemose or fascicled. Sepals 8 or 9, outer minute. Petals 6, in two series, glandular at the base. Stamens 6, opening by two upward valves. Carpel 1, baccate, with a few basal seeds. The species and varieties are numerous, and natives of Europe, Asia and America, from Oregon to Fuega. The name is of Arabic origin. The species may be conveniently divided into two sections.

§ 1. Leaves simple, usually fascicled {Berberis proper).

1. B. vulgaris. Common Barberry. - Although this is a very pretty deciduous shrub, especially when laden with its orange-scarlet fruit, there are several evergreen species of better habit and with handsomer flowers, that are more commonly planted for ornament. Leaves oblong-obovate, with spiny teeth. Flowers yellow, in terminal drooping racemes, appearing in May or June. A native of Great Britain. There are several varieties, including scarlet- yellow- and white-fruited and purple-leaved.

2. B. aristata, syn. B. umbellata? - In appearance this resembles No. 1. It is armed with strong tripartite thorns, and the leaves are almost persistent and deeply serrated. Flowers yellow, cymose; cymes on long pendulous peduncles. This is of erect habit, with deeply furrowed reddish brown branches. A native of Nepal, flowering in May.

3. B. Darwinii. - This is perhaps the handsomest in cultivation, and the most extensively planted. It forms a densely branched spreading decumbent evergreen bush with dark glossy leaves and orange-yellow flowers. There are about four leaves in each fascicle, on short petioles, oval or oblong, about an inch long, with usually five spiny teeth. Flowers in racemes, very profuse, produced in May and sometimes again in Autumn. A native of South Chili.

4. B. dulcis. - An erect spiny evergreen shrub. Leaves about 4 together, glabrous, very shortly petioled, oval or oblong, about 8 lines long, entire, slightly coriaceous. Flowers solitary, on slender peduncles, yellow. Berries bluish black. This is one of the forms of buxifolia or microphylla, a variable shrub from Chili.

5. B. empetrifolia. - A dwarf evergreen species about 18 inches or 2 feet high. Leaves in fascicles of about 7, on short slender petioles, linear, closely revolute, giving them the appearance of being terete, sharply mucronate. Flowers yellow, terminal, few, sub-umbellate, on slender pedicels. A native of the extreme South of America; very hardy, often flowering both in Spring and Autumn. B. stenophylla is said to be a hybrid between this species and B. Darwinii. It has narrow mucronate leaves and a profusion of pretty yellow flowers followed by dark-purple berries.

6. B. ilicifdlia. - A very handsome branching spiny evergreen shrub. Leaves petiolate, oblong, narrowed at the base, thick and glossy and beset with spiny teeth. Flowers large, orange tinged with red, from 4 to 6 together in short racemes. This species appears to be very rare in collections, but we give it a place here on account of its great beauty. It is a native of the extreme South of America.

B. Knightii, concinna, Chinensis, etc., are less widely grown species of this group.

§ 2. Leaves pinnate, persistent (Mahonia).

7. B. aquifolia, syn. Mahdnia aquifolia. - This is the common species of this section. A bush about 6 feet high, with creeping suckers. Leaves 7 to 8 inches long, of about 7 ovate-lanceolate remotely spiny-toothed glabrous glossy green slightly coriaceous leaflets. Leaflets 2 to 3 inches long, rounded at the base, acute at the apex, with minutely reticulated venation, lowest pair about 2 inches from the base of the petiole. Flowers yellow, in clusters of terminal racemes, appearing in Spring. Native of North America.

B. ripens (fig. 23). - Is probably a variety of the last, with trailing or procumbent stems. Also from North America.

8. B. glumacea, syn. B. nervosa. - A very dwarf slow-growing shrub, resembling in a great measure the preceding. Leaves tinged with red in autumn, about a foot long, of about 13 narrowly lanceolate coriaceous glabrous leaflets with remote rigid spiny teeth. Venation of the leaflets elevated, distant, anastomosing with intermediate free veinlets, lower pairs about 4 inches from the base of the petiole. Flowers yellow tinged with red, in terminal clusters of racemes emerging from linear pointed glume-like bracts. A native of North-west America, flowering in Spring.

9. B. Bealii. - A very distinct species with erect unbranched stems and leaves about a foot long. Leaflets usually 9, very coriaceous, about 3 inches long, quite sessile, broadly cordate or rotundate at the base, irregular in outline, oblique, with about 5 long spiny teeth, and a terminal one, the lowest pairs close to the base of the petiole. A handsome shrub with foliage of a yellowish green tint, bearing terminal clusters of racemes of yellow flowers in early Spring. B. Japornica, a slightly different form with narrower leaves and longer slender racemes, belongs to this species. B. intermedia is another name of this variety. A native of Japan.

Fig. 23. Berberis repens. (1/3 nat. size.)

Fig. 23. Berberis repens. (1/3 nat. size.)

10. B. Fortunei. - Leaflets about 7, linear-lanceolate, distant, with numerous small spiny teeth, lower pair remote from the base of the petiole. Flowers small, yellow, in terminal clustered racemes. A native of China.

B. pinnata, syn. fascicularis, and B. Nepalensis are rarer species, the former from Mexico. The latter is very near B. Bealii.