Online Encyclopedia

BARBERRY (Berberis vulgaris)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 386 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BARBERRY (Berberis vulgaris), a shrub with spiny-toothed leaves, which on the woody shoots are reduced to forked spines, and pale yellow flowers in hanging racemes, which are succeeded by orange-red berries. It is a member of the botanical natural order Berberidaceae, and contains about too species in the north temperate zone and in the Andes of South America extending into Patagonia. The order is nearly allied to the buttercup order in having the parts of the flowers all free and arranged in regular succession below the ovary which consists of only one carpel. It is distinguished by having the sepals, petals and stamens in multiples of 2, 3 or 4, never of 5. The berries of Berberis are edible; those of the native barberry are sometimes made into preserves. The alkaloid berberine (q.v.) occurs in the roots.
End of Article: BARBERRY (Berberis vulgaris)
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