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× Mahoberberis aquisargentii Krüssmann

Modern name

Mahoberberis × aquisargentii Jensen

An erect-branched evergreen shrub; ultimate height uncertain. Its leaves are mostly of two kinds. Leaves on strong shoots sessile, trifoliolate, the terminal leaflet much the longest, 234 to 314 in. long, very thick and rigid, glossy above, armed on each side with mostly five or six long, narrowly triangular spine-pointed teeth, apex narrowly acute, also terminated by a spine; lateral leaflets much smaller, with a narrow terminal portion and usually one pair of teeth on each side, but on some leaves the lateral leaflets are replaced each by a simple spine. The leaves of the second kind are borne in the axils of the first kind, from which they differ totally. They are thinner, shortly stalked, oblong-elliptic, 212 to 314 in. long, veiny and slightly glossy above, edged on each side with up to forty-five or so fine, closely set, spiny teeth; mostly they are simple, but some carry one or two very small leaflets on their petioles. Leaves of intermediate form also occur, which are more coarsely toothed, more spiny and more glossy above than in the second type. Flowers occasionally borne, but not examined.

This hybrid was raised in Sweden by H. Jensen in 1943. The parentage is believed to be Mahonia aquifolium crossed with Berberis sargentiana, an evergreen species of W. China.

A very similar hybrid is × M. miethkeana Melander & Eade, described in Nat. Hort. Mag., Vol. 33 (1957), p. 257. This was found in a seed-bed of M. aquifolium at H. O. Miethke’s nursery, near Tacoma, Washington, USA. The other parent is believed to be a berberis known in the USA as B. ‘Renton’ or as “B. knightii”. The specific identity of this plant is uncertain, but the berberis grown in Britain under the erroneous name “B. knightii” is B. manipurana Ahrendt, an evergreen species which, like B. sargentii, belongs to the section Wallichianae. Another mahoberberis raised by Mr Jensen is × M. aquicandidula Krüssmann. This hybrid, of weak growth, has as the berberis-parent B. candidula, another member of the section Wallichianae.

× M. aquisargentii grows vigorously in Mr Hillier’s garden at Jermyns House, Ampfield, and the above description was made from a specimen kindly given by him. It is sparse-flowering, and in this respect differs from the American hybrid (not seen) which is said to flower fairly freely and bear fruits (which are infertile).


× Mahoberberis

Other species in the genus