Berberis gyalaica Ahrendt

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Berberis gyalaica' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/berberis/berberis-gyalaica/). Accessed 2020-04-02.

Genus

Infraspecifics

Other species in genus

Glossary

Tibet
Traditional English name for the formerly independent state known to its people as Bod now the Tibet (Xizang) Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The name Xizang is used in lists of Chinese provinces.
bloom
Bluish or greyish waxy substance on leaves or fruits.
inflorescence
Flower-bearing part of a plant; arrangement of flowers on the floral axis.
sessile
Lacking a stem or stalk.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Berberis gyalaica' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/berberis/berberis-gyalaica/). Accessed 2020-04-02.

A deciduous shrub to 9 ft high, with arching, dark red stems. Spines yellow, single or three-parted, less than 12 in. long. The sessile leaves are elliptic, to 12 in. long, dull green above and greyish beneath. Flowers borne in July in dense panicles. Berries oblong to oval, about 13 in. long, black with a blue bloom. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 22.

This species was discovered by Kingdon Ward in 1924 in S.E. Tibet, on the Gyala Pass (KW 5962). On the same expedition he collected another new species – B. johannis – under KW 5936. The labels on the plants raised at Exbury were accidentally exchanged, with the result that the high praise accorded to KW 5936 by the late Lionel de Rothschild at the Tree and Shrub Conference of 1938 (Report, pp. 71-2) really belongs to B. gyalaica. As was pointed out by J. R. Sealy in his note accompanying the plate in the Botanical Magazine, the combination of red autumn foliage and dark-coloured berries that renders this species so striking is almost unique – for nearly all barberries that colour well in the autumn have red fruits. The paniculate inflorescence, though shared with B. aggregata and its allies, is also rare among the Old World barberries, although common in those of S. America. B. gyalaica grows vigorously, but Dr Ahrendt has found it somewhat tender in the climate of Oxfordshire.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

In some forms of this species the berries are without bloom when fully ripe.


B sherriffii Ahrendt

A closely related species, collected in S.E. Tibet in 1938 by Ludlow, Sherriff, and Taylor (LST 6629). It is quite hardy in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley and very attractive in fruit. Another close ally of B. gyalaica – B. taylorii Ahrendt – was introduced by the same expedition (LST 7163).

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