Berberidaceae (Barberry Family)

Characteristics of the Berberidaceae (Barberry) family

  • Dicot plant with evergreen, holly-like leaves and flower parts in multiples of three
  • Small yellow flowers clustered together in racemes and mature into purplish, sour berries
  • Members of this family may have 2 or 3 small bracts masquerading as sepals on the back of a flower, but otherwise there are typically 6 true sepals and 6 petals, often appearing in series of 3 each.
  • Ovary is positioned superior and consists of 2 to 3 united carpels (syncarpous) forming a single chamber. It matures as a sour berry
  • Inner bark is a brilliant yellow, due to the presence of an intensely bitter berberine alkaloid
Associated Plants