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A deciduous shrub described as growing up to 6 ft high in a wild state; young shoots often red, strongly angled, glabrous; spines three-parted, 1⁄2 to 5⁄8 in. long. Leaves in clusters of three to eight at each joint, 1⁄2 to 1 in. long, obovate, rounded or pointed at the apex, the round-ended ones usually with bristle-like teeth on the margin, the pointed ones often entire; slightly glaucous beneath. Flowers pale yellow, produced during June in clusters of as many as five, each on a stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Fruits globose-ovoid, 3⁄8 in. long, bright red and somewhat translucent. Bot. Mag., t. 9017.
Native of Formosa on mountains up to 13,000 ft altitude. First introduced to this country apparently by W. R. Price, who collected it on Mt Morrison in 1912 and raised it from seeds at Pen Moel, near Chepstow. It was collected by Wilson in October 1918, and seed was distributed by the Arnold Arboretum the following spring. From this seed the late Marquis of Headfort raised the plants from which the Botanical Magazine plate was prepared. It is a handsome barberry, especially in autumn, when, in addition to the beauty of its fruits, its foliage assumes brilliant shades of scarlet and gold. It is related to B. diaphana.