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Berberis sibirica Pall.

Modern name

Berberis sibirica Pall.

A low, deciduous bush, usually 112 to 2 ft high, with short, twiggy branches; young shoots glabrous, or minutely downy, angled; spines with three or five, sometimes nine or eleven, prongs, each 15 to 25 in. long, slender. Leaves produced in dense rosettes; small, obovate, 12 to 1 in. long, thin, with teeth directed outwards, and proportionately large. Flowers solitary, rarely in pairs, 12 in. across, bright yellow, drooping. Fruit dark red, obovoid, about 13 in. long.

Native of Siberia and Mongolia, where it grows in crevices of rocks and similar places. Resembling B. aetnensis in habit, it differs in its solitary flowers and much-divided spines. Pallas, the Russian traveller and naturalist, who introduced this shrub to cultivation in 1790, states that in Mongolia a decoction of the twigs is applied to the eyes as a charm, which recalls the virtues ascribed to B. lycium in eye affections by the natives of N. India.



Other species in the genus