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Berberis umbellata G. Don

Modern name

Berberis umbellata Wall. ex G.Don

A deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub to 8 ft high; young growth red, maturing to reddish brown. Spines usually three-parted, up to 23 in. long, but sometimes absent from parts of the stem. Leaves slightly lustrous above, waxy grey below, prominently net-veined on both sides, about 112 in. long and 35 in. wide, obovate to oblanceolate, tapering abruptly to a short petiole; leaf-margins edged with spiny teeth. Flowers three to six together in a cluster on short umbellate raceme, borne in May. Berries oblong, 25 in. long, dark red and bloomy. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 145.

Native of the Himalaya from Kumaon and Nepal. Although first described early in the nineteenth century this species long remained obscure; plants raised and distributed under the name usually proved to be some species of the Section Tinctoriae. However, around 1935 Dr Ahrendt, the well-known authority on the genus, received from Messrs Smith of Newry a plant which had originated from the German nursery firm of Späth. This proved to be the true species, and it is this plant that is figured in the Botanical Magazine.



Other species in the genus