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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Michael P. Williams

Perennial herb, shrub, [tree], generally rhizomed, caudexed or not, glabrous, glaucous, or hairy. Stem: spreading to erect, branched or not. Leaf: simple, 1–3-ternate, or pinnately compound, basal and cauline, generally alternate, deciduous or evergreen, petioled, stipuled. Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, or panicle, scapose, terminal, or axillary. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; sepals 6–18 or 0, generally in whorls of 3; petals generally 6, in 2 whorls of 3, or 0; stamens 6–12(13), free or fused at base, in 2 whorls or not, anthers dehiscent by flap-like valves or longitudinal slits; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovules generally 1–10, style 1 or 0, stigma flat or spheric. Fruit: berry, capsule, achene [follicle].
16 genera, ± 670 species: temperate, tropics worldwide; some cultivated (Berberis, Epimedium, Nandina (heavenly bamboo), Vancouveria). [Wang 2007 Syst Bot 32:731–742] Lower sepals sometimes called "bracteoles," inner petals "staminodes". —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Ernst 1964 J Arnold Arbor 45:1–35]

Key to Berberidaceae

Shrub, generally rhizomed. Stem: spreading to erect, branched, spiny or not, vine-like or not; inner bark, wood generally bright yellow; over-wintering bud scales deciduous or not. Leaf: simple or pinnately compound, cauline, alternate, generally leathery, generally persistent; leaflets generally 3–11, ± round to lanceolate, generally spine-toothed. Inflorescence: raceme, axillary or terminal. Flower: sepals 9 in 3 whorls of 3; petals 6 in 2 whorls of 3, bases generally glandular; stamens 6; ovules 2–9, stigma ± spheric. Fruit: berry, spheric to elliptic, generally purple-black.
± 600 species: temperate worldwide. (Latin: ancient Arabic name for barberry) Roots often TOXIC: spines may inject fungal spores into skin. [Kim 2004 J Plant Res 117:175–182] Contact with filament causes stamen to snap inward, possibly to deposit pollen on pollinator.
Unabridged references: [Moran 1982 Phytologia 52:221–226, for relationship between Berberis, Mahonia.]

Key to Berberis

B. nevinii A. Gray NEVIN'S BARBERRY
Stem: erect, 1–4 m; bud scales generally deciduous. Leaf: cauline or crowded on short lateral stems, 3.5–7(12) cm; petiole generally 0.5–2 cm; leaflets generally 3–5, terminal 2.5–4 cm, 1.2–2 cm wide, narrow-elliptic to lanceolate, flat to ± wavy, base ± obtuse, tip acute to acuminate, margin serrate, spines 8–10 per side, ± 1 mm. Inflorescence: 3.5–6.5 cm, open; axis internodes 5–10 mm in flower; flowers 3–5. Fruit: 5–8 mm diam, spheric, ± red. Seed: 3.5–4 mm.
Sandy to gravelly soils, washes, chaparral; < 650 m. Southwestern California. Often used in restoration with inadequate documentation, so that planted and natural populations confused; reports of elevations up to ± 1220 m based on plantings. Mar–May [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}

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Next taxon: Berberis pinnata


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 31 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Berberis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 31 2015

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click for enlargement Berberis nevinii
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© 2001 BonTerra Consulting

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Berberis nevinii Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.