Mahonia acanthifolia G. Don, Gen. Syst. 1: 118 (1831). as per Annotated checklist of Flowering plants of Nepal & efi thread
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


Tree identification please? :  8 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (1).
this was a flowering shrub in Bhutan. Height about 6-7 feet. At an altitude of about 9000ft. Flowering in Mar.
Could anyone help to identify this?

Mahonia sp. (Berberidaceae).

Sir, could be Mahonia nepalensis?

efi page on Mahonia napaulensis
Mahonia – some‎ species in India & eFI with some keys

Mahonia napaulensis DC ​

It looks close to Mahonia acanthifolia Wall. ex G.Don. Please find the attached article on M. nepaulensis and M. acanthifolia. Attachments (1)- Mahonia lo res.pdf

Thanks so much, when we 1st visited Sikkim in 1980, we too used to call it M. acanthifolia.  Will pass the article on to local botanists here.


Requesting to please ID this plant captured in the Ooty Botanical Gardens, Ooty in November 2013.
The placard says Mohonia leschenaultii, kindly validate. Is it the same as Mahonia napaulensis?

Please check Mahonia leschenaultii (Wall. ex Wight & Arn.) Takeda

Yes, it is Mahonia leschenaultia

Thank you … for validation….
As per plantlist, Mahonia leschenaultii is a synonym of Mahonia napaulensis.

It should be Mahonia acanthifolia G. Don as per efi thread.


MBNN Fortnight :: Berberidaceae :: Mahonia napaulensis :: Ooty, Dodabetta :: ARKOCT-10 : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6).
Attached are pictures of Mahonia napaulensis captured at Ooty, Dodabetta in November 2013.

It is Berberis leschenaultii Wall. ex Wight & Arn. (= Mahonia leschenaultii (Wall. ex Wight & Arn.) Takeda)

Thanks … for the feedback…
As per the plantlist, Berberis leschenaultii Wall. ex Wight & Arn is an unresolved name….
What should be the correct name then?

I have followed FOC in efi as per Mahonia napaulensis (syn: B. leschenaultii Wallich ex Wight & Arnott), Mahonia & Berberis

Thanks … for the feedback….therefore I will retain it as Mahonia napaulensis….

It should be Mahonia acanthifolia G. Don as per efi thread.


Tree from high altitude for id 040211MK2: 15 posts by 6 authors. Attachments (9)
Please help to id the tree found planted at a private garden in Ooty, Nilgiris.

Date/Time- 24-01-2011 / 11:00 AM
Location- Place, Altitude, GP ca.2200asl; Ooty, TN
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type- garden
Plant Habit-tree
Height/Length- 4 m
Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- c. 1 feet; spiny margin
Inflorescence Type/ Size- Raceme; 15-20 cm long
Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts- yellow; 0.6cm across
Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds- globose; 1cm across

– This looks like Berberis or some other Berberidaceae to me.

– Am not very sure..!!
This could be some species of Mahonia
May be Mahonia napaulensis DC. (Mahonia leschenaultii (Wall. ex Wight & Arn.) Takeda ex Dunn)

Mahonia leschenaultiiis a big-shrub and not a tree.
Description shows that M. leschenaultii have dark blue fruits and even-pinnate leaves; a contradictory to the posted tree habit plant. Please verify again.
Reference: Excursion Flora of TN by K M Matthew

– As far as I know, the fruit color turns blue or dark when it ripens. This is peculiar to Berberidaceae I assume. These fruits may not be ripe enough. But cant be sure.

– All species of Mahonia are technically shrubs with more than one stems from ground level, and no main trunk. However, it is  not uncommon to see smaller stems cut away or die to give the plant appearance of a tree (I have seen this in several gardens). FBI reports than B. nepalensis (now correctly napaulensis) to reach a height of up to 20 ft.
I don’t think there is any species of Mahonia (some again merge it with Berberis) with even pinnate leaves. All are to my knowledge odd-pinnate with terminal leaflet.
The toss is between M. napaulensis  and M. bealei. Even FBI mentions that probably they are not different. It is, however, understood that recent treatments recognise them independent. I would go with M. bealei, because M. napaulensis is a plant of Himalyan region. It would be useful, if any friend is able to dish out the differences between the two species.

– However, M. bealei is a synonym of Berberis bealei according to the recent cheklists, which have dark blue berries..
Am not much sure whether the fruits seen in the pictures will turn dark blue..]
But it doesn’t appears to be so.. Gamble has reported M.leschenaultii from Kodaikkanal, which is conspecific to Mahonia napaulensis DC according to the recent plant checklist published by Missouri Botanical garden. I haven’t seen much plants to make a generalization on the habit feature of the plant, whether it is a tree  or a shrub..?
I think … can dig out the differences between these species, who has a close access to one of the plants.
I am attaching some links below

– If M. bealei is a synonym of B. bealei, then all other species are also. Please See GRIN or other recent databases.
We should use KEW Checklist with lot of caution. Perhaps the list has  been published in hurry. There are so many contradictions. So many species are unresolved.
What we need for final confirmation is to find differences between Mahonia (or Berberis) bealei and M. (B.) napaulensis (syn. M (B) leschenaultii).

– In the checklist both genus Mahonia & Berberis do exist.
Here it is another link…

– If the list is reliable then perhaps we will have to find out the differences between Mahonia and Berberis. The traditional difference is simple leaves in Berberis, pinnate in Mahonia.

– AHRENDT, L.W.A. 1961. Berberis and Mahonia: A taxonomic revision. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Botany Volume 57, Issue 369, pages 1–410. If some one can get this, it may help.
Secondly, I cant find any Berberis list on Kew website. I would be grateful if anyone can send the link to me.
Please find one article in this context attached. Frankly, I haven’t seen what’s there inside.

– This paper should help, because there seems to be some thing more than simple vs compound leaves in the distinction. As far as the list is  concerned, follow the following link:
Type Berberis in the search window and you will get a list of 1339 names under Berberis some accepted names (Bold italics) and some  synonyms or unresolved names (italics). Unfortunately the list of unresolved names is much larger in almost every genus.

– Actually I was looking in the Kew’s Checklist. Yes, the list is there on The Plant List, but right now it can’t be
trusted as it is under review and confidence level is just 66%!!

I think it should be Mahonia acanthifolia G. Don as per efi thread


SK875 23 NOV-2017:ID : 10 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6)
Location: Ghandruk, Kaski, Nepal
Altitude:7000 ft.
Date: 17 November 2017
Mahonia napaulensis DC. ???
Image Credit : Sameer Kasaju

Pl. check pdf available at the link for arriving at the correct id: Article on differences between M. nepaulensis and M. acanthifolia

I will go for Mahonia acanthifolia as per pdf available at the link: Article on differences between M. nepaulensis and M. acanthifolia

Thank you … Nepali Names : केशरी Kesharee  / जमाने मान्द्रो Jamaane Maandro  / कन्चन Kanchan 

I agree!

Fruit for Id – 31032019SH3 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)

Fruit for id pl.
Location – Latpanchar (Near Darjeeling), West Bengal
Date – March 2019

Mahonia acanthifolia
Family – Berberidaceae

Berberis napaulensis (DC.) Spreng. : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6) – around 750 kb each.
Location: Phulchoki, Lalitpur, Nepal
Altitude: 2591 m.
Date: 8 May 2019
Habit : Wild
Syn : Mahonia napaulensis DC.

I think it should be Mahonia acanthifolia as per keys herein.

So much confusion in Name!

Small Tree for ID (17/07/10-NSJ-01) : Attachments (3).  9 posts by 5 authors.
A small thorny tree for ID.
Location – Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, India
Time – Dec-2009
Type – Large shrub / tree around 10′ tall
Leaves – Opposite, Dark Green
Fruits- Not present

Mahonia species of Berberidaceae

This Is some species of Mahonia sp but I really forgot the species

I think Mahonia aquifolium

Sir Ji Mahonia aquifolium is quite possible !!

Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt. is a synonym of Berberis aquifolium Pursh

Does not look like matching with Berberis aquifolium Pursh !
Any match to Berberis borealis (Takeda) Laferr., Berberis jaunsarensis (Ahrendt) Laferr. and Berberis napaulensis (DC.) Spreng. ??

I think it will be Mahonia acanthifolia as per images and details at Mahonia

Looking now at teeth Mahonia bealei looks better choice

POWO and CoL dot give its distribution in India.
Is there any other source mentioning its distribution?

efi thread  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 

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