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Berberis orthobotrys Schneid.

Modern name

Berberis orthobotrys Bien. ex Aitch.


B. vulgaris var. brachybotrys Hook. f.

A deciduous shrub up to 4 ft high, with dark, glabrous, young wood, armed with three-pronged slender spines up to 13 in. long. Leaves 12 to 118 in. long, 18 to 12 in. wide, obovate or oblanceolate, mostly finely toothed, glabrous, and distinctly net-veined beneath. Flowers yellow, produced in May, five to twelve together in corymbose racemes scarcely 1 in. long. Fruits oval, red, 25 in. long.

Native of Kashmir, Afghanistan, etc. It was first found in the former country by T. Thomson and in the latter by Aitchison. As seen at Kew it is noticeable for the close arrangement of the leaf-clusters along the twigs. The clusters (made up of five to eight leaves) are scarcely half an inch apart. When in flower the twigs are almost hidden by blossom. The leaves are unusually small. A form distributed by Messrs Marchant differs from the type in its narrower leaves, covered beneath with a grey bloom, and has been distinguished by Dr Ahrendt as var. canescens. It is a fine fruiting shrub, holding its red berries well into November.



Other species in the genus