Mahonia acanthifolia G. Don (Images by N Muthu Karthick & Alka Khare (Both Ids by J.M.Garg) (Inserted by J.M.Garg) (For more images & complete details, click on the links))- Keys in efi thread.


Mahonia jaunsarensis Ahrendt ? (Images by Nidhan Singh (Id suggestion by D S Rawat) (Inserted by J.M.Garg))


Mahonia napaulensis DC.

(Images by Mohina Macker (Inserted by Gurcharan Singh) (Please click links to see details and more images))- keys in efi thread


Mahonia pycnophylla (Fedde) Takeda (Meghalaya, Mizoram)


Mahonia napaulensis  Mahonia acanthifolia
 Height 2-3 meter to 9 meter
 Leaflet pairs 4-6 (-8) (8)- 9-11-(12)
 Flowering time (Jan-) Feb.- April Sept.-Nov. (-Dec.)
 Habitat Warm Temperate forest 1200-1800 (-1900)m Cool temperate forest (2150-) 2300-2900 m

Article on differences between M. nepaulensis and M. acanthifolia : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1) – Mahonia lo res.pdf
…… Please find the attached article on M. nepaulensis and M. acanthifolia.

The differences given in the paper (number of marginal spines, length-breadth ratio, etc. are already given in Flora o India (1993), which also treats M. leschenaultii and M. jaunsarensis as distinct species, all now merged into one. 

Pl. also see latest publications in this matter at Mahonia


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 Listed:
Mahonia acanthifolia G. Don,
Mahonia borealis Takeda
Mahonia jaunsarensis Ahrendt (Endemic to Uttarakhand)
Mahonia napaulensis DC.

Binomial Habit Notes Ref. Distrib.
Mahonia leschenaultii (Wall. ex Wight
& Arn.) Takeda is a synonym of Mahonia napaulensis
Erect Shrub Western Ghats
& Eastern Ghats, Evergreen Forests
Flora of Tamil
Nadu, VOL. I, 1983; Matthew, 1983
Dindigul, Nilgiri, Salem



Species with description & pictures in Flowers of India as on 5.7.14: 

Botanical name Family Common name
Mahonia napaulensis Berberidaceae Nepal Mahonia


Mahonia leschenaultii (Wall. ex Wt. & Arn.) Takeda ex Gamble is a synonym of Mahonia napaulensis

Mahonia borealis Takeda (Himalayas, in forest undergrowths, mostly east of Kashmir)

Mahonia acanthifolia G. Don (Himalaya (Kumaun to Bhutan), Assam, China, Malaysia)
Mahonia borealis Takeda (Himalaya (Kashmir to Sikkim), Assam)
Mahonia napaulensis DC. (Himalaya (Nepal to Bhutan), Assam)

Mahonia duclouxiana Gagnepain [India, Myanmar, Thailand].
Mahonia napaulensis Candolle  [Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal; cultivated in Australia, S Europe, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and other parts of the world].
Mahonia polyodonta Fedde [India (Assam), Myanmar].

Flora of Eastern Ghats: Hill Ranges of South East India, Volume 1 By T. Pullaiah, D. Muralidhara Rao, K. Sri Ramamurthy (2002- Description)-
Mahonia leschenaultii (Wall. ex Wight & Arn.) Takeda is a synonym of Mahonia napaulensis

Forest Plants of Eastern India By Amal Bhusan Chaudhuri (1993- Description)-
Mahonia sikkimensis Takeda (syn. of Mahonia napaulensis)


1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants edited by Kerry Scott Walter, Harriet J. Gillett-
Mahonia jaunsarensis Ahrendt- Indeterminate- Uttar Pradesh


An Excursion Flora of Central Tamilnadu, India By K. M. Matthew (1995)- Details-
Mahonia leschenaultii (Wall. ex Wight & Arn.) Takeda is a synonym of Mahonia napaulensis

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.


Berberis vs Mahonia : 5 posts by 2 authors.
The Plant List like in many cases seems to be totally confused, as it relies on multiple databases. The two genera are easily differentiated on the basis of simple versus compound leaves, but there is no such consistency in The Plant List:
Mahonia aquifolium is listed under Berberis aquifolium
Mahonia leschenaultii is listed under Berberis leschenaultii
I think we should have a uniform policy in our listings. 

Thanks, … We have to follow latest findings as far as possible as we can’t rely only on one source. That is why I started making genera pages (though still a long way to go), listing all findings from various sources available on net including latest publications e.g. Pl. see Mahonia & Berberis

We also have discussions in this forum from time to time in matters which come to our light.

But what is the logic of placing Mahonia aquifolium under Berberis and other species under Mahonia?. We have to rely on some character/s, not just following a database blindly, especially when it is full of errors.

Thanks, …, for pointing out. I will correct it now in efi as you pointed out.  These mistakes are occurring because I am more of a layman.

Corrected now.


Mahonia have been transferred to Berberis– Is it the latest or are they still treated differently?

Thanks for your email. Yes Mahonia have been transferred to Berberis but there is still a controversy some preferred to treat them differently. There are small group of South American Mahonias which are kind of between Berberis and typical Mahonias. More DNA work is needed both in Berberis and Mahonia to revise it’s classification. For the time being both ways i.e treating them together or separate would be fine.


Pl. go through Mahonia (‎‎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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