An evergreen, or partially evergreen shrub, of loose, open habit, 4 to 6 ft high. Leaves very variable; sometimes simple, obovate, 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, with fine marginal teeth like those of Berberis vulgaris; other stiff, hard, and holly-like, with a few large spiny teeth resembling the leaflets of Mahonia; others trifoliolate or pinnate. Flowers and fruits not seen.
A hybrid between Mahonia aquifolium (the seed-bearer) and Berberis vulgaris, which appeared in Baumann’s once famous nursery at Bolwyller, in Alsace, about 1850. It has but little to recommend it as a garden plant, being in my experience a sterile, flowerless mule. As a scientific curiosity it is interesting, for it unites two genera, although remarkably distinct from either of its parents. The form with spiny-toothed leaves like holly is often erroneously called B. ilicifolia.