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BERBERIDACEAE BARBERRY FAMILY

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

BERBERIS OREGON-GRAPE, BARBERRY
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. aquifolium Pursh
NATIVE
Stem: spreading to erect, 0.1–2 m; bud scales generally deciduous. Leaf: cauline, not crowded, 8–24 cm; petiole generally 3–6 cm; leaflets 5–9, terminal 2–7.5 cm, 1.5–4.5 cm wide, ± round to elliptic, ± flat to strongly wavy, base ± lobed to wedge-shaped, tip acute to obtuse (except tooth), margin serrate, spines 6–24(40) per side, 1–5 mm. Inflorescence: 3–6 cm, dense; axis internodes 2–4 mm in flower, fruit. Fruit: 4–7 mm diam, ovoid to obovoid, glaucous, blue to purple. Seed: 4–5 mm. Varieties intergrade, need study; abaxial papillae on leaves evidently of no taxonomic value. [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Presence or absence of abaxial papillae on leaves varies within, between populations and does not appear to provide a reliable taxonomic character.

B. aquifolium var. dictyota (Jeps.) Jeps.
NATIVE
Stem: erect, < 1 m. Leaf: 9–15 cm; petiole 1–5 cm; leaflets generally 7–9, 2–6 cm, 2–3.5 cm wide, ± round to ovate, base ± lobed to wedge-shaped, margin strongly wavy, thick, generally hard, spines 6–10(12) per side, 2–5 mm. Fruit: ± ovoid, blue-purple.
2n=28. Slopes, canyons, conifer forest, oak woodland, chaparral; 90–2200 m. Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Central Western California, Sierra Nevada, Sacramento Valley (Sutter Buttes), South Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges. Possibly intergrades with Berberis pinnata subsp. pinnata in Peninsular Ranges. Mar–May [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Jul 29 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Berberis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=76967, accessed on Jul 29 2014

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click for enlargement Berberis aquifolium var. dictyota
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© 2006 Chris Wagner, SBNF

Bioregions in which Berberis aquifolium var. dictyota occurs 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.
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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.