Berberis mucrifolia Ahrendt

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Bean

A small deciduous shrub 10 in. to 2 ft high in the wild; stems yellowish or greyish, downy when young, angled and finely grooved. Spines slender, three-parted, up to 34 in. long. Leaves narrow, elliptic to obovate, less than 1 in. long, glabrous, creamy green beneath; they bear a conspicuous spiny tip but are otherwise entire or (as seen on cultivated plants) with an occasional marginal tooth near the apex. Flowers solitary, about 13 in. in diameter. Berries bright red, globose or somewhat elongated, about 14 in. long, with a well-developed style.

This species was described by Dr Ahrendt in 1956 from specimens collected by Stainton, Sykes, and Williams in 1954 in Nepal, where they found it in open places on the mountain-sides between 9,000 and 14,000 ft. It is in cultivation from their 8111 (type) and also from seed collected by Polunin, Sykes, and Williams farther west in 1952 (PSW 5444). Plants raised from the latter were distributed by the late Miss Davenport Jones, Washfield Nurseries, Hawkhurst, Kent. It should make a neat miniature bush if grown in full sun, but the flowers are small and the fruits, though brightly coloured, are too sparse to make much display.


From the Supplement (Vol. V)

This is figured in Bot. Mag., n.s., t.643.

Genus

Berberis

Other species in the genus