Keys in A revision of berberis S.S. (Berberidaceae) in Nepal– B. ADHIKARI, C. A. PENDRY, R. T. PENNINGTON & R. I. MILNE- Edinburgh Journal of Botany 69(03) · November 2012:
1a. Flowers solitary or in fascicles (sometimes in a 2–3-flowered umbel in B. concinna var. extensiflora) __ 2
1b. Flowers in racemes, panicles or in umbels (with more than 4 flowers) ___ 11
2a. Evergreen shrubs. Berries black ______ 3
2b. Deciduous shrubs. Berries red ____ 5
3a. Spines usually absent. Leaves large, up to 17 cm long. Anther connectives slightly produced or not ___ 21. B. insignis
3b. Spines present. Leaves small, up to 8 cm long (rarely up to 11 cm in B. wallichiana). Anther connectives distinctly produced __ 4
4a. Berries with a distinct style. Inflorescence a fascicle of 10–25(–30) flowers. Ovule solitary ____ 19. B. wallichiana
4b. Berries without a style. Inflorescence a fascicle of 3–8(–11) flowers. Ovules 3–6 ___ 20. B. hookeri
5a. Semi-prostrate shrubs up to 20 cm tall _____ 3. B. kumaonensis
5b. Erect shrubs (B. mucrifolia rarely semi-prostrate) more than 20 cm tall ___ 6
6a. Stem spines mostly 5-fid ____ 6. B. tsarica
6b. Stem spines mostly 3-fid ____ 7
7a. Flowers large, 1.5–2.5 cm in diameter. Berries without a style ____ 8
7b. Flowers small, up to 1 cm in diameter. Berries with a distinct style __ 9                     
8a. Leaves glaucous below, venation prominent both sides. Nectariferous glands cup-shaped ___ 4. B. concinna
8b. Leaves not glaucous, venation sub-conspicuous above, slightly prominent below. Nectariferous glands obovoid _____ 1. B. angulosa
9a. Leaves rigidly coriaceous. Anther connectives slightly produced ____ 5. B. mucrifolia
9b. Leaves thin or slightly coriaceous. Anther connectives distinctly produced ___ 10
10a. Sepals in 4 whorls. Anther connectives apiculate ______ 2. B. everestiana var. ventosa
10b. Sepals in 3 whorls. Anther connectives produced into 2 or 3 tooth-like appendages _____ 7. B. pendryi
11a. Secondary and tertiary leaf venation usually reticulate. Berries very glaucous _____ 12
11b. Secondary leaf venation with closed or open loops, tertiary venation obscure. Berries slightly glaucous or not glaucous _____ 13
12a. Flowers in flexible epedunculate racemes or in fascicles ____ 17. B. asiatica
12b. Flowers in stiff pedunculate racemes _______ 18. B. glaucocarpa
13a. Leaves with a distinct petiole up to 3.5 cm long. Lamina broadly obovate or broadly elliptic to rounded _____ 13. B. petiolaris
13b. Leaves without a distinct petiole. Lamina obovate or narrowly obovate to narrowly elliptic _____ 14
14a. Inflorescence (3–)8–16 cm long, a panicle with 15–70 flowers ______ 10. B. koehneana
14b. Inflorescence 1–6 cm long, a simple raceme, or umbellate, sub-umbellate or subpaniculate raceme with 2–15 flowers (up to 20 in B. aristata) ____ 15
15a. Berries dark purple or black, slightly glaucous ____ 8. B. aristata
15b. Berries red, non-glaucous ____ 16
16a. Sepals in 4 whorls ____ 9. B. thomsoniana
16b. Sepals in 3 whorls ______ 17
17a. Shrubs usually less than 2 m tall. Berries with a distinct style _____ 18
17b. Shrubs usually more than 2 m tall. Berries without a style (sometimes very short, # 0.5 mm in B. virescens) ____ 19
18a. Young branches glabrous. Peduncle usually less than 1 cm long ______ 14. B. jaeschkeana var. usteriana
18b. Young branches densely puberulous. Peduncle usually more than 1 cm long _____ 15. B. karnaliensis
19a. Outer sepals up to 3.5 mm long. Apex of connectives obtuse or retuse _____ 16. B. virescens      
19b. Outer sepals 3.5 mm or more long. Apex of connectives pointed or bifurcate ___ 20
20a. Berries ovate-ellipsoid. Petals notched ____ 12. B. hamiltoniana
20b. Berries ellipsoid to oblong-obovoid. Petals obtuse, rarely emarginate or crenate ___ 11. B. orthobotrys var. rubicunda



(Images by Gurcharan Singh (Id by Bhaskar Adhikari) (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more images & complete details, click on the links)) 


Berberis calliobotrys Koehne ? (Afghanistan to SW. Xinjiang and W. Himalaya: Afghanistan, Pakistan, West Himalaya, Xinjiang as per POWO)


Berberis glaucocarpa Stapf (Images by Prashant Awale (Id by Bhaskar Adhikari)  Shobha Halwe-Chavda (Id by Umesh Kumar Tiwari) (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more images & complete details, click on the links))


(Images by Saroj Kumar Kasaju (Validation by J.M.Garg & by Bhaskar Adhikari) (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more images & complete details, click on the links)) 


Berberis orthobotrys Bienert ex Aitch. (N. Iran to S. Turkmenistan, Afghanistan to Nepal: Afghanistan, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, West Himalaya as per POWO)

Berberis osmastonii Dunn (Image by D S Rawat)


Berberis pseudumbellata R.Parker (Images by Aarti S Khale (Id by Gurcharan Singh) (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more photos & complete details, click on the links))


Berberis thomsoniana C.K.Schneid. (Central & E. Himalaya to S. Tibet and N. Myanmar: East Himalaya, Myanmar, Nepal, Tibet as per POWO)

Berberis thunbergii DC.‘Orange Rocket’ (Images by GurcharanSingh (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more photos & complete details, click on the links))


Berberis tinctoria Lesch. (Images by P. Santhan (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more photos & complete details, click on the links))


Berberis ulicina Hook. f. & Thomson (Images by Inderjeet Sethi (Id by Umesh Kumar Tiwari) & Saroj Kumar Kasaju (validation by J.M.Garg & Chris Chadwell) (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more photos & complete details, click on the links))


Images by Saroj Kumar Kasaju (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more photos & complete details, click on the links)



Berberis rawatii sp. nov. (Berberidaceae) from India– Umeshkumar L. Tiwari* & Bhupendra Singh Adhikari- Nordic Journal of Botany Volume 29, Issue 2, pages 184–188, April 2011-
In India, 55 species of Berberis have been reported and 22 species are found in Uttarakhand state. Berberis rawatii (Berberidaceae), a new species from Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand state of India (western Himalaya) is here described and illustrated. In terms of leaf and inflorescence, Berberis rawatii shows affinities with B. cretica L. Both these species have entire leaves, fascicled inflorescences, conspicuous style and black berries, but B. rawatii differs in the presence of a petiole, the dorsal surface of leaf pruinose, presence of elongated-ovate glands, presence of prophylls, three ovules and pruinose fruits.

Rediscovery of two endemic species of  Berberis from Uttarakhand, Western Himalaya, India by Umeshkumar L. Tiwari*, Gopal Singh Rawat & Bhupendra Singh Adhikari- Biodiv. Res. Conserv. 28: 19-24, 2012-
Abstract: Two endemic Berberis species (Berberidaceae) viz., Berberis ahrendtii R. R. Rao and Uniyal and Berberis lambertii Parker, are first time rediscovered after ca. 100 years since their type localities were found. These species are recorded from the Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand, India. Taxonomic description, synonyms, distribution information, localitydetails of specimens examined and photographs are provided for each species.

A checklist of Berberidaceae in Uttarakhand, Western Himalaya, India by Umeshkumar L. Tiwari*, Bhupendra Singh Adhikari and Gopal Singh Rawat- Check List 8(4): 610–616, 2012-
Abstract: In India, Berberidaceae is represented by three genera and 68 species. The largest among genera is Berberis (55 species). Majority of Berberidaceae members are distributed in the Himalayan region. Only four species are found away from the Himalayan region, i.e., Nilgiri hills, Chhota Nagpur and Pachmarhi hills of Madhya Pradesh. Extensive surveys were conducted in various ecoclimatic zones of Uttarakhand between years of 2008 and 2010. For each species encountered, field notes were taken along with the voucher specimen following standard technique. During field survey, field notes, date, locality, habitat and brief identification features were noted. A checklist of 36 taxa of Berberidaceae recorded from the state of Uttarakhand, India, is provided. Of these, 32 belong to genus Berberis and four belong to genus Mahonia. The present study shows that Berberis hamiltoniana Ahrendt and Berberis apiculata Ahrendt are new records for Uttarakhand state. Berberis lambertii Parker has been rediscovered after a century gap. Nomenclature has been updated as far as possible with the help of available recent taxonomic literature 
Species detailed:
Berberis affinis G. Don (Endemic to Uttarakhand)
Berberis ahrendtii R. R. Rao and Uniyal (Endemic to Uttarakhand)
Berberis apiculata (Ahrendt) Ahrendt (New Record for the State) 
Berberis aristata DC.
Berberis asiatica Roxb. ex DC. 
Berberis chitria Buch.-Ham. ex Lindl.
Berberis concinna Hook. f. var. breviora Ahrendt 
Berberis coriaria Royle ex Lindl. var. coriaria
Berberis coriaria Royle ex Lindl. var. patula Ahrendt (Endemic to Uttarakhand)
Berberis cretica L.
Berberis floribunda Wall. ex G. Don
Berberis glaucocarpa Stapf
Berberis hamiltoniana Ahrendt (New Record for the State)
Berberis jaeschkeana C. K. Schneid.
Berberis jaeschkeana var. usteriana C. K. Schneid.
Berberis koehneana C.K. Schneid.
Berberis kumaonensis C. K. Schneid. 
Berberis kunawurensis Royle
Berberis lambertii R. Parker (Endemic to Uttarakhand)
Berberis lycium Royle lycium
Berberis lycium var. simlensis Ahrendt
Berberis lycium var. subfascicularis Ahrendt
Berberis lycium var. subvirescens Ahrendt 
Berberis macracantha Schrader
Berberis osmastonii Dunn (Endemic to Uttarakhand)
Berberis pachyacantha Bien. ex Koehne
Berberis pachyacantha subsp. zabeliana (C. K. Schneid.) Jafri
Berberis petiolaris var. extensa Ahrendt ex Rao, Husain et B. Datt
Berberis petiolaris var. garhwalana Ahrendt. (Endemic to Uttarakhand) 
Berberis pseudumbellata R. Parker
Berberis rawatii Tiwari et Adhikari (Endemic to Uttarakhand) 
Berberis umbellata Wall. ex G. Don  
Mahonia acanthifolia G. Don,
Mahonia borealis Takeda
Mahonia jaunsarensis Ahrendt (Endemic to Uttarakhand)
Mahonia napaulensis DC.

Rediscovery of Berberis nilghiriensis Ahrendt (Berberidaceae) from Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, Southern India by V. S. Ramachandran*, Honey John A, Siljo Joseph and Mounir M. Bekhit- Taiwania, 57(4): 422–425, 2012-
ABSTRACT: The critically endangered Berberis nilghiriensis Ahrendt, endemic to the Nilgiri hills in South India is rediscovered after 140 years, with three extant populations of ca. 25 individuals in the Nilgiri hills. Taxonomic treatment along with threat status, ecology, and economic uses are provided and urgent conservation is suggested to prevent its local extinction as the species is exposed to continued anthropogenic disturbances.

A REVISION OF BERBERIS S.S. (BERBERIDACEAE) IN NEPAL by B. Adhikaria, C. A. Pendrya, R. T. Penningtona and R. I. Milnea- Edinburgh Journal of Botany Edinburgh Journal of Botany / Volume 69 / Issue 03 / November 2012, pp 447-522-
Abstract– The genus Berberis (Berberidaceae) in Nepal is revised and 21 species are recognised. Two species, Berberis pendryi Bh.Adhikari and Berberis karnaliensis Bh.Adhikari, are newly described and 11 taxa are lectotypified. A key to species is provided and all species are fully described and illustrated, and their distributions within Nepal mapped. An IUCN conservation assessment is given for each species.

Abstract– Berberis L. contains more than 500 species, is the largest genus in the Berberidaceae, and is now recognised to comprise Berberis s.s. with simple leaves and compoundleaved species formally ascribed to Mahonia. Because of its sheer size, much basic taxonomy is required in Berberis, and this thesis provides a taxonomic revision for the species found in Nepal, which includes a key, full descriptions, illustrations, phenology, notes on ecology, distinguishing features and distribution maps. Twenty one species are recognised in Nepal, of which two, B. karnaliensis and B. pendryi, are newly described. Nine taxa are lectotypified during this study. Berberis has a mainly Northern Hemisphere distribution, with its main centre of distribution in the Sino-Himalaya. Berberis s.s. extends into South America where it has a secondary centre of diversity. There have been few phylogenetic studies of Berberis, and previous studies were inadequate because they did not use outgroups to root their phylogenies. This thesis provides parsimony and Bayesian analyses of chloroplast ndhF data of 64 accessions of 59 Berberis taxa, rooted using multiple outgroups including Ranzania, the putative sister group of Berberis. The results support the monophyly of Berberis s.l, but compound-leaved Berberis are shown to be paraphyletic. Berberis higginsae, a member of section Horridae, is sister to all other taxa sampled. The ndhF phylogeny, dated using a fossil calibration, indicates the North American origin of compound-leaved Berberis, and the origin of the simple-leaved South American lineages in long distance dispersal events from Eurasia. ITS sequences of 97 accessions of 79 species of Berberis are studied to investigate the origin and diversification of simple-leaved Berberis in Nepal. The Nepalese species are shown to have multiple origins from at least four different colonisations and have subsequently speciated in situ. The diversification of some groups appears to have been triggered by the active uplift phase of the Himalaya during the Miocene. The tendency of phylogenetically close Nepalese species to grow in similar ecological conditions indicates that phylogenetic niche conservatism is evident in Nepalese Berberis species. Chromosome counts for nine taxa of Nepalese simple-leaved Berberis are obtained, of which five taxa are counted for the first time. All the taxa examined are diploids with 2n=28, suggesting that the polyploidy is not an important factor in the diversification of Berberis in Nepal.
Species detailed:
1. Berberis angulosa Wall. ex Hook.f. & Thoms.
1a. Berberis angulosa Wall. ex Hook.f. & Thoms. var. angulosa Ahrendt
1b. Berberis angulosa var. fasciculata Ahrendt
2. Berberis aristata DC.
3. Berberis asiatica Roxb. ex DC.
4. Berberis concinna Hook.f.
4a. Berberis concinna Hook.f. var. concinna Ahrendt
4b. Berberis concinna Hook.f. var. extensiflora Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
5. Berberis everestiana Ahrendt var. ventosa Ahrendt
6. Berberis glaucocarpa Stapf
7. Berberis hamiltoniana Ahrendt
8. Berberis hookeri Lem.
9. Berberis insignis Hook.f. & Thoms.
10. Berberis jaeschkeana C.K.Schneid. var. usteriana C.K.Schneid.
11. Berberis karnaliensis Adhikari sp. nov. (No distribution in India)
12. Berberis koehneana C.K.Schneid.
13. Berberis kumaonensis C.K.Schneid.
14. Berberis mucrifolia Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
15. Berberis orthobotrys Bienert ex Aitch. var. rubicunda Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
16. Berberis pendryi Adhikari sp. nov. (No distribution in India)
17. Berberis petiolaris Wall. ex G.Don
17a. Berberis petiolaris Wall. ex G.Don var. petiolaris
17b. Berberis petiolaris Wall. ex G.Don var. garhwalana Ahrendt
18. Berberis thomsoniana C.K.Schneid.
19. Berberis tsarica Ahrendt
20. Berberis virescens Hook.f.
21. Berberis wallichiana DC.

Binomial Habit Notes Ref. Distrib.
Berberis lycium Royle  Herb Western Ghats,
Cultivated, Native of Himalaya 
Flora of Tamil
Nadu, VOL. I, 1983
Berberis nilghiriensis Ahrendt Erect
Ghats, Evergreen Forests, Endemic
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983; Ahrendt, 1961
Berberis tinctoria Lesch. Erect
Ghats, Evergreen Forests 
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983; Fischer, 1921; Gamble, 1957
Dindigul, Nilgiri
Berberis wightiana Schneid  Erect
Ghats, Evergreen Forests
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983; Ahrendt, 1961


Botanical name Synonyms Family Common name
Berberis angulosa Berberidaceae Large-Flowered Barberry
Berberis chitria Berberis chitria var. occidentalis Berberidaceae Chitra
Berberis jaeschkeana Berberidaceae Jaeschke’s Barberry
Berberis koehneana Berberis koehniana Berberidaceae Koehne Barberry
Berberis lycium Berberidaceae Indian Barberry
Berberis ulicina Berberidaceae Gorse Barberry

Berberis aitchisonii Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
Berberis baluchistanica Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
Berberis brevissima Jafri, sp. nov. (No distribution in India)
Berberis kunawurensis forma chitrioides Jafri, forma nov. (No distribution in India) 


Berberis brandisiana Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
Berberis everestiana var. ventosa Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
Berberis hamiltoniana Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
Berberis macrosepala Hook. f. & Thomson (No distribution in India)
Berberis mucrifolia Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
Berberis orthobotrys var. canescens Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
Berberis poluninii Ahrendt (No distribution in India) is a synonym of Berberis angulosa Wall. ex Hook.f. & Thoms. var. angulosa Ahrendt as per Systematics and phylogeographic studies of Berberis L. (Berberidaceae) in the Nepal Himalaya
Berberis praecipua C.K. Schneid. (No distribution given)
Berberis sikkimensis var. baileyi Ahrendt (No distribution in India)
Berberis ulicina Hook. f. & Thomson (No distribution in India)




Indigenous Drugs Of India By Chopra R N, I.C. Chopra (1933)- Details-

Floriculture in India By Gurcharan Singh Randhawa, Amitabha Mukhopadhyay (1986)- Details-

1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants edited by Kerry Scott Walter, Harriet J. Gillett
Berberis affinis G. DON– Rare- Uttar Pradesh (Kumaon)
Berberis apiculata (Ahrendt) Ahrendtis a synonym of Berberis jaeschkeana var. apiculata (Ahrendt) H.B.Naithani & S.N.Biswas – Rare- Himachal
Berberis huegeliana Schneid.– Indeterminate- Kashmir
Berberis kashmirana Ahrendt – Rare- Kashmir
Berberis lambertii PARKER– Vulnerable- Uttar Pradesh
Berberis nilghiriensis Ahrendt- Vulnerable- Tamilnadu


I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Berberis & Mahonia (Pl. click).

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

If someone can provide complete list of Indian species with source references it will be wonderful.

Any comments/ corrections are welcome.


Pl. go through Berberis (‎‎‎‎‎‎Berberidaceae‎) page with images of species (done by me) in efloraofindia.

If you find any mis-identification, pl. let us know. If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), if any, it will be really nice.

Also, if anybody is interested to take up the activity of inserting images on efloraofindia pages from efloraofindia posts, pl. let us know.

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