Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Berberis lycium Royle in Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 17: 94. 1834; Hoot. f. & Thomson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 110. 1872.


Shrubs, up to 4 m high; stems pale, terete or subsulcate, glabrous or pubescent; internodes 1.5 - 3.5 cm long; spines 6 - 20 mm long, subterete, 3-fid; lateral ones 7 - 12 mm long. Leaves subsessile, oblanceolate to obovate, attenuate at base, acute-mucronate at apex, entire or 2 - 4 spinulose along margins, 2 - 7 x 0.6 - 1.2 cm, papillose, greyish or whitish below. Inflorescences racemose or subfascicled; flowers 7 - 8 mm across; pedicels slender, up to 2 cm long. Prophylls ovate, 1 x 0.5 mm. Sepals in 3 whorls; outer ones ovate, obtuse, ca 2 x 1 mm, yellow; median ones ovate, obtuse, ca 3.5 x 2 mm; inner ones obovate, ca 5 x 3 mm. Petals obovate, emarginate with acute lobes, ca 4 x 2 mm; glands separate, lanceolate, ca 1.2 x 0.3 mm. Stamens produced, apiculate, ca 3.25 mm long. Ovules 4, shortly stipitate. Berries ellipsoid to ovoid, ca 9 x 5 mm, blue or black, pruinose, minutely stylose.

One of the commonest species of Berberis in India. Very variable and the following varieties have been recognised by Ahrendt (l.c.).



KEY TO THE VARIETIES


1a. Stems slightly sulcate; leaves becoming dull green below 19.4. subvirescens
b. Stems terete; leaves whitish and conspicuously papillose below 2
2a. Stems pubescent; inflorescences racemose, 2 - 5 cm long 19.2. simlensis
b. Stems glabrescent; inflorescences subfascicled or racemose; racemes more than 5 cm long 3
3a. Inflorescences subfascicled, 2 - 2.5 cm long 19.3. subfascicularis
b. Inflorescences 5 - 15 cm long racemes, 5 - 9 cm long 19.1. Iycium


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