An evergreen shrub of dense habit, 8 to 10 ft high; young shoots yellowish, angled, armed with three-pronged spines which are up to 11⁄2 in. long, stout and sharp. Leaves narrowly oval to oblanceolate, tapering to a short stalk, spiny-toothed; they are clustered as many as five together at a joint, each measuring 2 to 3 in. long, 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. wide. Flowers in clusters of as many as fifteen, each on a slender stalk 1⁄3 to 5⁄8 in. long, yellow, 1⁄4 in. wide. Fruit 1⁄3 in. long, oval, black, covered with blue bloom, the conspicuous stalked style adhering at the end. Bot. Mag., t. 9283, as “B. xanthoxylon”.
Native of Central China; introduced by Wilson for Messrs Veitch in 1900 (No. 535). It is one of the hardiest of the evergreen barberries and makes a handsome erect bush. It has been confused with, and grown for, B. sargentiana in gardens, but that species has reddish young shoots, not angled, its fruits have not so much bloom on them nor is the terminal knob or style so conspicuous. There is a fine bush of B. julianae at Kew 10 ft high and 12 ft in diameter – a luxuriant rounded mass of foliage.
B. lempergiana Ahrendt – Related to B. julianae but with smaller, less toothed leaves and somewhat larger flowers. It occurs wild in Chekiang province, China, but the type is a plant raised by Messrs Hillier from seed sent to Dr Fritz Lemperg by the Nanking Botanic Garden. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 90.
From the Supplement (Vol. V)
The true B. julianae seems to be uncommon in gardens, though represented in the Kew collection. Many plants distributed under its name are really B. manipurana, which is entirely distinct (see below). The confusion seems to have arisen from the fact that both were at one time grown under the erroneous name B. xanthoxylon.
B. lempergiana – This horticulturally unimportant species was mentioned here because it has been judged by a good authority to be near to B. julianae. However, the two species are placed in different series by Chamberlain and Hu.