• Berberis Aquifolium, Pursh
    Berberis Aquifolium, Pursh
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Berberis large genus of shrubs of temperate zones of New and Old Worlds
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Berberis Darwinii, Hook Berberis Darwinii, Hook
Berberis Stenophylla, Moore Berberis Stenophylla, Moore
Berberis Vulgaris, L Berberis Vulgaris, L

Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n berberis The principal genus of the natural order Berberidaceæ, including the common barberry. It contains about 50 species of shrubby plants, mostly American, and ranging from Oregon to Tierra del Fuego. The common barberry, B. vulgaris, the only European species and extensively naturalized in the United States, is well known for its red acid berries, which make a pleasant preserve. The leaves also are acid, and the bark and root, as in many other species, are astringent and yield a yellow dye. The bark of the root of this and of several Asiatic species, as B. Lycium, B. Asiatica, and B. aristata, is used as a bitter tonic and for the extraction of berberine (which see). Some of the Mahonia group of species, distinguished by pinnate evergreen leaves, and including the Oregon grape of the Pacific coast, B. Aquifolium, are frequently cultivated for ornament. The stamens in this genus are curiously irritable, springing forward upon the pistil when the inner side of the filament is touched.
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In literature:

Berberis, Pfeffer on stamens.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II" by Charles Darwin
Brachymeum, Neckera, Lichens several: a Caryophyllea and a Berberis.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
Season this with white Pepper, Salt, juyce of Orange or Verjuyce, of Berberies, or Onion, or what you like best.
"The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened" by Kenelm Digby
Berberis is the barberry, so well known by its beautiful pendent berries.
"The Amateur Garden" by George W. Cable
Berberis vulgaris foliis purpureis, one of the best purple shrubs.
"Trees and Shrubs for English Gardens" by Ernest Thomas Cook
From this Berber strain comes the name Berberi or Ba-Berberche, applied by the Hausa to the inhabitants of Bornu.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Slice 3" by Various
I dye my hair with berberis roots in which purple snails have been steeped.
"The Green Book" by Mór Jókai
Arbor-vitae is practical for such use as is the Buckthorn and the Berberis Thunbergii (Thunberg's Japanese Barberry).
"Garden Ornaments" by Mary H. Northend
Berberis tinctoria of the forests yields a good yellow dye for mourning apparel.
"The Highlands of Ethiopia" by William Cornwallis Harris
What a precious thing this fine old Berberis is!
"Wood and Garden" by Gertrude Jekyll