Taxon: Berberis vulgaris L.

Genus: Berberis
Family: Berberidaceae
Subfamily: Berberidoideae
Tribe: Berberideae
Subtribe: Berberidinae
Nomen number: 6992
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 1:330. 1753
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 20-May-1992 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 09-May-2011
Species priority site is: National Arboretum (NA)
Accessions: 3 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

  • barberry  (Source: BSBI) - English
  • common barberry  (Source: Hortus 3) - English
  • European barberry  (Source: Dict Rehm) - English
  • jaundice-berry  (Source: Hortus 3) - English
  • piprage  (Source: Hortus 3) - English
  • berbéris vulgaire  (Source: F NAmer) - French
  • épine-vinette  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • vinettier  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • Berberitze  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • Sauerdorn  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • berbis  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Portuguese
  • espinho-de-São-João  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • espinho-de-São-Simão  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • agracejo  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • espino cambrón  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • berberis  (Source: Kulturvaxtdatabas) - Swedish

Economic Importance:

  • Food additives: flavoring (fide Lemoine 1998)
  • Harmful organism host: crop diseases (usceptible to black stem-rust of wheat fide Diseas Comp 43. 1997; F NAmer)
  • Medicines: source of berberine (fide Import Medicinal Pl; CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals (fide Cooper & Johnson ed2)
  • Weed: potential seed contaminant (fide Rep NCEPPC)

Distributional Range:


  • Asia-Temperate

    • Caucasus: Armenia ; Russian Federation-Ciscaucasia Ciscaucasia
    • Western Asia: Turkey
  • Europe

    • Eastern Europe: Belarus ; Estonia ; Latvia ; Lithuania ; Moldova ; Russian Federation-European part European part; Ukraine
    • Middle Europe: Austria ; Belgium ; Czech Republic ; Germany ; Hungary ; Netherlands ; Poland ; Slovakia ; Switzerland
    • Southeastern Europe: Albania ; Bosnia and Herzegovina ; Bulgaria ; Croatia ; Greece ; Italy ; Macedonia ; Montenegro ; Romania ; Serbia ; Slovenia
    • Southwestern Europe: France ; Spain

  • Naturalized



  • Afonin, A. N., S. L. Greene, N. I. Dzyubenko, & A. N. Frolov, eds. Interactive agricultural ecological atlas of Russia and neighboring countries. Economic plants and their diseases, pests and weeds (on-line resource). (AgroAtlas)
  • Ahrendt, L. W. A. 1961. Berberis and Mahonia a taxonomic revision J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 57:188.
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Botanical Society of the British Isles BSBI taxon database (on-line resource). (BSBI)
  • Campbell, F. T., ed. Report of National Coalition of Exotic Plant Pest Councils. 1995 (unpublished draft) (Rep NCEPPC)
  • Cooper, M. R. & A. W. Johnson Poisonous plants and fungi in Britain: animal and human poisoning. 1998 (Cooper & Johnson ed2)
  • Davis, P. H., ed. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. (F Turk)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage. 1984 (Zander ed13)
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource). (EuroMed Plantbase)
  • Farnsworth, N. R. & D. D. Soejarto Global importance of medicinal plants (unpublished draft manuscript rev. 23, 1988) (Import Medicinal Pl)
  • FNA Editorial Committee Flora of North America. (F NAmer)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Jalas, J. & J. Suominen Atlas florae europaeae. (Atlas Eur)
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. Flora SSSR. (F USSR)
  • Lemoine, E. 1998. Guide des fruits du monde
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. (Hortus 3)
  • Mathre, D. E. 1997. Compendium of barley diseases (Diseas Comp) 43.
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. Flora of [West] Pakistan. (F Pak)
  • Personal Care Products Council International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI)
  • Pignatti, S. Flora d'Italia. (F Ital)
  • Rehder, A. Bibliography of cultivated trees and shrubs. (Rehder)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Scoggan, H. J. The flora of Canada, 4 vol. (F Canada)
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea, ed. 2. (F Eur ed2)


Check other web resources for Berberis vulgaris L. :

  • Flora Europaea: Database of European Plants (ESFEDS)
  • Flora of North America: Collaborative Floristic Effort of North American Botanists
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ICRA: International Cultivar Registration Authority (on-line resource). for Berberis vulgaris cultivars
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image