Many of the species are cultivated in the gardens of Europe on account of the beauty of their fruit, flowers, or foliage.
Some few species are known among us, but none prettien than our common Barberry, or Berberis vulgaris. This shrub is too common in the vicinity of Boston; but where it is not found growing in such profusion, it will most assuredly be found a valuable addition to the shrubbery.
"Every one who is an observer of nature, must have been struck, in June, with the beauty of the arching, upper shoots of the barberry, springing from a mass of rich green, and sustaining numerous, pendent racemes of splendid yellow flowers. It is hardly less attractive when its blossoms have been suc ceeded by clusters of scarlet fruit. The Barberry is a bush usually four or five, but often seven or eight, feet high."
It has often been said, and very generally believed, that Barberry bushes were prejudicial to rye, causing it to blast; but this has not been our experience, having grown heavy crops of rye in fields with Barberry bushes on all sides of it.
B, dulcis is more dwarf in its habits, the foliage more delicate, and almost evergreen; the flowers dark-orange, scattered along the branches, among the foliage. It is a very pretty plant, and makes a handsome hedge. All the species are easily propagated by suckers.