Shrubs of Mount Holyokeby Karen Searcy
Taxonomy
Berberidaceae
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry)
Flower coloryellow
Number of petals6
Petal statefree
Leaf persistencedeciduous
Leaf arrangementalternate
Leaf groupingsimple
Leaf marginentire
Leaf/leaflet shapeelliptic
Fruit typefleshy
Fruit colorred
Flowering datesearly May
Fruiting datesSeptember
HabitatRich, moist woods
LocalityThroughout.
DescriptionA short, spiny shrub 1-3 feet tall. A distinctive feature is the single spine below each leaf or cluster of leaves. The leaves are about 0.5 - 1.5 inches long. Flowers are solitary or in an umbel-like cluster that hangs below the stem. B. vulgaris also occurs in the Mount Holyoke Range but has 3 spines below each leaf or leaf cluster. It is much less common, and is only seen on the lower slopes.
CommentB. thunbergii is an invasive species. The densest populations are along the lower reaches of Elmer Brook and Dry Brook, but scattered individuals occur in richer woods. The red fruit can persist all winter.
Habit photoPW
Habit photo 2PW
Flower photoTB
Flower photo 2TB
Fruit photoKBS