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Berberidaceae

S. M. H. JAFRI


Herbarium, Dept. of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi

Berberis sp.
Illustration

Credit: Fauzia

Shrubs or perennial herbs with reddish-brown to pale branches, often verruculose, armed or unarmed. Leaves simple or compound, alternate or crowded on short shoots. Inflorescence racemose, cymose or fasciclulate. Flowers 2-3-merous, bisexual, regular, mostly yellowish, pedicellate. Perianth free, usually in 3-4 wohrls, each whorl of 2-3 segments, outer 1-3 whorls sepaloid, inner whorl petaloid, sometimes modified, usually with a pair of glands at the base. Stamens 4-6, often in 2 whorls of 3 each, mostly shorter than petals; anthers introrse, usually opning by 2 posterior valves which curl backwards facing the centre of flower. Ovary oblong to suborbicular, superior, monocarpellate, 1-celled with 1-several ovules on basal or lateral placenta. Fruit a berry, rarely a dry, dehiscent capsule, 1-several seeded; seeds often large with copious endosperm and straight embryo.

4 genera and about 500 species, mostly in North Temperate regions, tropical mountains and S. America; represented in Pakistan by 3 genera and 22 species.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under PL 480. Thanks are also due to Messrs. B. L. Burtt, I. C. Hedge, Lauener and Miss J. Lamond for all possible help.


1 Fruit a dry, dehiscent capsule. Flowers 2-merous. Perennial herbs   Epimedium
+ Fruit a berry. Flowers 3-merous. Shrubs   (2)
       
2 (1) Leaves simple; stems often armed   Berberis
+ Leaves pinnately compound; stems unarmed   Mahonia

Lower Taxa


 

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