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Berberis concinna Hook. f.

Modern name

Berberis concinna Hook.f.

A low, deciduous bush 3 ft high, of close, compact habit; branches furrowed. Leaves lustrous green above, white beneath, obovate, 1 in. or less long, tapering at the base to a short stalk, the margin armed with spiny teeth. Three spines, each 12 to 34 in. long, guard the base of each tuft of leaves. Flowers solitary, on a slender stalk 1 to 112 in. long, pendent, globose, deep yellow, 12 in. across. Berries oblong, fleshy, red, 12 to 34 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 4744.

Native of the Sikkim-Himalaya at 12,000 to 13,000 ft; introduced to Kew by Sir Joseph Hooker about 1850. A very pretty barberry, and distinct through the vivid whiteness of the under-surface of the leaves. It is best propagated by seeds, which it produces most seasons.

B. (concinna × calliantha) ‘Concal’. – This hybrid was raised by Capt. Collingwood Ingram, Benenden, Kent, and given an Award of Merit in 1948. It is a compact, semi-deciduous shrub with lemon-yellow flowers up to 34 in. across.

A barberry collected by Kingdon Ward in 1924 under KW 6326 is near to B. concinna and was distributed under that name, but is given specific rank by Dr Ahrendt as B. TSANGPOENSIS. As a garden plant it differs in its lower and more spreading habit.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

Being almost evergreen, this species could be confused with dwarf members of the section Wallichianae such as B. candidula, B. verruculosa and B. chrysosphaera, but its kinship is with B. angulosa, as is shown by the large red fruits.

B. tsangpoensis, mentioned under B. concinna, has dull, yellowish green leaves, green beneath, and this character, coupled with the procumbent habit, distinguishes it from B. concinna. It is very vigorous, but not ornamental enough to serve as a ground-cover.

† B. erythroclada Ahrendt – Described from a specimen collected by Kingdon Ward on the Doshong La in south-east Tibet in 1924, this is probably no more than a form of B. concinna with leaves green beneath. It has been reported from an area of Nepal where B. concinna also occurs. The dark red stems to which the specific epithet refers is not a diagnostic character as they are similarly coloured in B. concinna.

† B. everestiana Ahrendt – This berberis, described in 1961, is founded on a specimen collected by the Mount Everest Expedition in 1922, but also occurs in south-east Tibet. It is a dwarf or procumbent shrub, near to B. tsangpoensis.



Other species in the genus