Berberis tinctoria Lesch., Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 9: 306 1822. ;

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


Evergreen, erect shrub, variable in size and form, often 1-2 m high, in forests to 4 m high; stems furrowed, pale brown; wood very tough, bright yellow; spines 3-fid, 1.5-3 cm long. Leaves obovate, entire, rarely with 1 or 2 spinules, obtuse, mucronate, 1.5-3.5 x 0.7-1.3 cm, thick, purplish when young, papillose, dull above, pruinose beneath; petioles 2-5 mm long. Flowers in 10-20 flowered racemes or panicles, 3.5-5 cm long, yellow; pedicels 5-10 mm long, red. Prophylls ca 1 x 0.5 mm. Outer sepals obovate, acute ca 7 x 5 mm; the inner ovate or obovate, obtuse, ca 4 x 2.5 mm. Petals obovate, ca 6 x 4.5 mm, clawed; claws glandular at base. Stamens ca 5 mm long, short apiculate. Ovary stipitate. Berries spindle shaped, 9-10 x ca 5 mm excluding 1-1.5 mm long dry style and large round stigma still attached, purplish red turning dark blue with glaucous bloom.

Flowering and fruiting: February-June
Shola forests
India, Afghanistan and Bhutan
(Attributions-Dr. N Sasidharan (Dr. B P Pal Fellow), Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi

Berberis tinctoria Lesch., wild shrub from Nilgiri dt of Tamilnadu