Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera | Map
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Berberis fremontii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BerberidaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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].
Genera In Family: 16 genera, +- 670 species: temperate, tropics worldwide; some cultivated (Berberis, Epimedium, Nandina (heavenly bamboo), Vancouveria). Note: Lower sepals sometimes called "bracteoles," inner petals "staminodes".
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael P. Williams
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: BerberisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 600 species: temperate worldwide. Etymology: (Latin: ancient Arabic name for barberry) Toxicity: Roots often TOXIC: spines may inject fungal spores into skin. Note: Contact with filament causes stamen to snap inward, possibly to deposit pollen on pollinator.

Berberis fremontii Torr.
Stem: erect, 0.1--4(5) m; bud scales < 5 mm, generally deciduous. Leaf: 3--6 cm, crowded on short lateral stems; petiole < 1 cm; leaflets 3--7(9), terminal 1.5--2.5 cm, 1--1.5 cm wide, generally lance-ovate, wavy, generally folded along midrib, base truncate to wedge-shaped, tip generally acute, margin +- lobed, spines 3--8 per side, 2--3 mm. Inflorescence: 4--5.5 cm, open; axis internodes 2--10 mm, 5--10 mm in fruit; flowers 8--12. Fruit: 6--15 mm diam, +- spheric, glaucous, yellow- to purple-red. Seed: 3--4 mm.
Ecology: Rocky slopes, pinyon/juniper woodland, chaparral; Elevation: 900--1850 m. Bioregional Distribution: PR, e&s DMoj; Distribution Outside California: to Colorado, New Mexico, Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar--May Note: Intergrades with Berberis haematocarpa, especially in eastern DMoj; overlaps morphologically with Berberis higginsiae in PR, Baja California. Larval exit holes suggest fruit inflation may be due to parasitism by insects.
Synonyms: Mahonia fremontii (Torr.) Fedde
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael P. Williams
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Berberis darwinii
Next taxon: Berberis haematocarpa

Name Search
botanical illustration including Berberis fremontii


Citation for this treatment: Michael P. Williams 2017. Berberis fremontii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 23, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 23, 2017.

Berberis fremontii
click for enlargement
© 2006 James M. Andre
Berberis fremontii
click for enlargement
© 2006 James M. Andre
Berberis fremontii
click for enlargement
© 2005 James M. Andre
Berberis fremontii
click for enlargement
© 2006 James M. Andre
Berberis fremontii
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse
Berberis fremontii
click for enlargement
© 2006 James M. Andre

More photos of Berberis fremontii in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Berberis fremontii:
PR, e&s DMoj;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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