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Berberis lycium - Royle.

Common Name
Family Berberidaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Shrubberies and open hillsides[51, 67], usually on hot dry slopes[146], to 3000 metres. in Kashmir[57].
Range E. Asia - Himalayas
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Berberis lycium


Berberis lycium

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Berberis lycium is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Shoots
Edible Uses: Tea

Fruit - raw or cooked and made into preserves[2, 11, 105, 177, 183]. Fairly juicy with a nice slightly acid flavour[K]. The fruits are about 8mm long[200]. Leaves and young shoots - cooked[2, 177, 183]. Leaves are a tea substitute[177, 183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antibacterial  Aperient  Cancer  Carminative  Dysentery  Febrifuge  Ophthalmic

The roots are aperient, carminative, febrifuge and ophthalmic[11, 46, 61, 158, 240]. They are used in the treatment of eye complaints, menorrhagia, chronic diarrhoea and piles[240]. The leaves have been used in the treatment of jaundice[240]. Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery[218]. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine[218]. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity[218].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Dye

A yellow dye is obtained from the root.

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a warm moist loamy soil and light shade but it is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils[11, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A fairly hardy plant but it suffers some damage in severe winters[1]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[1]. Plants can be pruned back quite severely, they resprout well from the base[200].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, when it should germinate in late winter or early spring[78]. Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate[78], whilst stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[80]. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so should be kept well ventilated[113]. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame. If growth is sufficient, it can be possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the autumn, but generally it is best to leave them in the cold frame for the winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Berberis gagnepainii Shrub2.4 4-8  LMHSNDM223
Berberis georgiiBarberryShrub3.0 3-7 MLMHSNDM321
Berberis heterophylla Shrub1.5 7-10  LMHSNDM121
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Berberis koreanaKorean Barberry, BarberryShrub1.5 3-7 MLMHSNDM121
Berberis parisepala Shrub3.0 5-9  LMHSNDM221
Berberis rariflora Shrub0.0 -  LMHSNDM221
Berberis rubrostilla Shrub1.5 5-9  LMHSNDM321
Berberis ruscifolia Shrub0.0 -  LMHSNDM221
Berberis sherriffii Shrub2.0 5-9  LMHSNDM121
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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

Royle.

Botanical References

1167200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

S.K.Joshi   Fri Dec 2 2005

Is it possible to get identification key for Berberis lycium?

Dr PL sangwan   Mon Oct 1 2007

I want to know the chemical constituents and biological activities of the plant beberia lycium

Tsewon   Sat Jun 20 2009

I wish if you provide me more on bio-active compositions.

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