Berberis lycioides Stapf

TSO logo

Sponsor this page

For information about how you could sponsor this page, see How You Can Help


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

Recommended citation
'Berberis lycioides' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-10-01.

Other taxa in genus


(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Situated in an axil.
Bluish or greyish waxy substance on leaves or fruits.
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
Made up or consisting of two or more similar parts (e.g. a compound leaf is a leaf with several leaflets).
With an unbroken margin.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).
Taxonomic account of a single genus or family.
Short straight point. mucronate Bearing a mucro.
Inversely lanceolate; broadest towards apex.
Egg-shaped solid.
(of a leaf) Unlobed or undivided.
Like a slender tapering cylinder.

Warning: DOMDocument::loadHTML(): htmlParseEntityRef: no name in Entity, line: 1 in /home/ on line 32


There are no active references in this article.


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

Recommended citation
'Berberis lycioides' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-10-01.

A semi-deciduous, entirely glabrous shrub up to 10 ft, shoots terete, armed with simple and three-pronged spines up to 34 in. long. Leaves in axillary clusters of four to six, up to 212 in. long, 12 to 34 in. wide, narrowly obovate to oblanceolate, the base cuneate, the apex shortly tapered to a small mucro; margins sparsely spiny to entire; slightly glaucous beneath. Flowers in two whorls of three, yellow, 25 in. wide, borne in pendulous racemes or sometimes panicles 212 to 312 in. long; calyx of three whorls of sepals. Fruits ovoid to ovoid-oblong, 38 in. long, black-purple, but coated freely with a blue-white, waxy bloom. Bot. Mag., t. 9102.

Native of the N.W. Himalaya. It has been in cultivation since the early nineteenth century, but under other names such as B. aristata. It is hardy and beautiful both in flower and fruit.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

When the eighth edition was being prepared, a slip in Mr Bean’s description was overlooked. It is not the flowers that are in two whorls of three but their petals, as is usual in the genus. Nor is it really correct to say that B. lycioides is a native of the north-west Himalaya. It was described by Dr Stapf from a plant raised by J. S. Gamble from seeds collected in the Himalaya, probably in the Dehra Dun district, and was thought by Stapf to be a natural hybrid between B. lycium and B. glaucocarpa. It is obviously distinct from the latter in its drooping inflorescences and more elongate fruits. It is not, however, so clearly distinct from B. lycium, the differences given by Stapf being that the flowers and fruits are larger, and that the inflorescences are sometimes compound at the base.

In his monograph, Dr Ahrendt pointed out that the name B. lycioides for this berberis is illegitimate, having been applied earlier to other species. The substitute name B. ahrendtii Rao & Uniyal (1985) is available, but it seems pointless to adopt it so long as the taxonomic position of this berberis is in doubt.