The Barberry becomes conspicuous during September and October, when its beautiful pendant clusters of brilliant scarlet berries begin to brighten hilly pastures and wayside thickets. Gardeners take advantage of this extremely ornamental shrub, and use it extensively for making hedges and beautifying home grounds. Its decorative value may be better appreciated when it is considered that the attractive berries remain throughout the winter. The fruit is sour and puckery, but not altogether unpleasant to the taste, and when cooked, they make a beautifully coloured syrup or jelly of pleasing flavour. Indeed, the store of preserved viands on the swing shelf in the cellar or topmost shelf in the upstairs closet of any old New England farm house is not replete until the busy housewife makes her old-fashioned Barberry jam. Then all hands look forward to the coming Thanksgiving dinner with the satisfaction of knowing that there surely will be the making of Barberry tarts -tarts that outclass the cranberry sort, too. And if on the day following the feast, a body should happen to feel feverish or indisposed, the same Barberry usually helped to adjust the effects of too much turkey and pumpkin pie, for it is both food and medicine. The juice of the berries has a cooling effect upon fever patients, and it is used as a gentle tonic, and was formerly administered in cases of jaundice. The roots and inner bark are sometimes used to make a yellow dye, and also for tanning purposes. Malic acid is made from the berries. The Barberry is severely condemned by wheat growers because it is believed to harbour a mildew or fungus (Aecidium) which develops into a summer-stage or form (Uredo), known as a wheat rust. At one time, Massachusetts farmers were obliged by a state law to destroy all the Barberry bushes found growing near their wheat-fields. This did not necessarily check the fungus, as it is known to have propagated and spread for years thereafter. The Pepperidge Bush is a native of Europe and Asia, and has been introduced into this country, where it has become naturalized in the Eastern and Middle States, and sparingly in Canada and the West. It prospers in dry, gravelly soil in waste places, and grows six or eight feet high, in a healthy, robust way of its own. Its many spreading branches are gracefully arched and drooping at the ends. The smooth gray twigs are armed with numerous sharp, three-pronged spines or thorns. The thorns of the Barberry really represent leaves. This is proven by the fact that they produce a leaf bud in their axil. If a new season's growth is examined, various graduations from the fully developed spiny leaf at the base, to the reduced branching spine toward the tip, will be found. Generally, thorns are stunted, woody branches, starting from the axils of the leaves, but they should not be confused with the thorns of the Wild Rose or Blackberry, which are merely growths on the bark, and if the bark is peeled off, the thorns adhere to it. The Barberry's small yellow flowers have a disagreeable odour. They have six sepals, six pistils, and six stamens. The latter are curiously arranged, and form little inverted arches between the thick, green pistil and each cupped petal, reminding one of the arrangement of the stamens of the Mountain Laurel. They are irritable, and sensitive to a high degree, and if touched with a pin during favourable weather they will snap back automatically toward the pistil with the activity of a spring mouse-trap, scattering a tiny cloud of pollen. The flowers are borne in gracefully drooping clusters, which hang from the leaf joints. The thick, rounded oval leaves have a smooth surface and firm texture, and they grow from one to two inches long. They are set on short stems in little rosette-like groups of three to five, which spring from the axils of the three-pronged spines or thorns. The colour is light bluish green, and their edges are protected with numerous sharp bristly points. The flowering season is May and June. The berry is oblong in shape, and contains one or two hard seeds. The scientific name is of Arabic origin.