Berberis triacanthophora Fedde

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Credits

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

Recommended citation
'Berberis triacanthophora' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/berberis/berberis-triacanthophora/). Accessed 2020-10-28.

Genus

Other species in genus

Glossary

bloom
Bluish or greyish waxy substance on leaves or fruits.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
glaucous
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
indeterminate
A form of inflorescence in which the outer or lower flowers open first and the inflorescence axis continues to grow. (Cf. determinate.)
linear
Strap-shaped.
oblanceolate
Inversely lanceolate; broadest towards apex.
pollen
Small grains that contain the male reproductive cells. Produced in the anther.

References

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Credits

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

Recommended citation
'Berberis triacanthophora' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/berberis/berberis-triacanthophora/). Accessed 2020-10-28.

An evergreen, glabrous shrub 5 to 6 ft high, of graceful spreading habit; young shoots round, reddish; spines three-parted, 58 in. long. Leaves linear to oblanceolate, spine-tipped; 1 to 2 in. long, 18 to 14 in. wide; margins decurved, set with one to five slender teeth at each side; bright green above, more or less glaucous beneath. Flowers produced in clusters of usually three to five, each on its slender stalk 12 to 118 in. long; very pale yellow or whitish, the petals tinged with red outside. Fruit oval, 13 in. long, black, coated slightly with blue bloom.

Native of Central China; introduced by Wilson in 1907, or possibly earlier, as he collected specimens in W. Hupeh for Messrs Veitch in June 1900. It flowers with us in May and is quite hardy. The abundant spines and needle-tipped leaves render it very well armed. It varies in the glaucousness of the under-surface of the leaves. The colour of the flowers is rather indeterminate, but in habit of growth and as a fruit-bearer it is a handsome evergreen. It is closely akin to B. sanguinea, which is distinguished by its ribbed, yellowish-grey young shoots and shorter flower-stalks; also to B. replicata, which differs in its more strongly decurved leaf-margins, their more glaucous under-surface and shorter flower-stalks. It is also related to B. gagnepainii, but in that species the stems are yellowish and the leaves green beneath.

Dr Ahrendt has pointed out (Gard. Chron., Vol. 105, p. 372, 1939) that what was distributed by Wisley as B. triacanthophora is not the true species, but a fine evergreen nonetheless. He has named these plants B. wisleyensis; they are, perhaps, hybrids with B. gagnepainii as the pollen parent.

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