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Berberis aristata - DC.

Common Name Chitra, Indian Barberry or Tree Turmeric
Family Berberidaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Shrubberies to 3500 metres[51]. Open hillsides at elevations of 1800 - 3000 metres[272].
Range E. Asia - Himalayas in Nepal.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Berberis aristata Chitra, Indian Barberry or Tree Turmeric


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Shyamal
Berberis aristata Chitra, Indian Barberry or Tree Turmeric
Drawing out of Handbuch der Laubholzkunde by Dr. Leopold Dippel from 1889

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Berberis aristata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower in May. 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: acid, neutral and basic (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

B. chitria. B. coriaria.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[145]. A well-flavoured fruit, it has a sweet taste with a blend of acid, though there is a slight bitterness caused by the seeds[194, K]. The fruit is much liked by children[194, K]. It is dried and used like raisins in India[2, 3, 177, 183]. The fruit contains about 2.3% protein, 12% sugars, 2% ash, 0.6% tannin, 0.4% pectin[194]. There is 4.6mg vitamin C per 100ml of juice[194].The fruit is about 7mm x 4mm[194] - it can be up to 10mm long[200]. Plants in the wild yield about 650g of fruit in 4 pickings[194]. Flower buds - added to sauces[177, 183].

Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Fruit (Fresh weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 2.3g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 12g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 2g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [ ]
  • Notes:

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.
Alterative  Antibacterial  Antiperiodic  Bitter  Cancer  Deobstruent  Diaphoretic  Laxative  
Ophthalmic  Tonic

The dried stem, root bark and wood are alterative, antiperiodic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, laxative, ophthalmic and tonic (bitter)[46, 61, 158, 194, 240]. An infusion is used in the treatment of malaria, eye complaints, skin diseases, menorrhagia, diarrhoea and jaundice[240, 243]. 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].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Dye  Fuel  Tannin

A yellow dye is obtained from the root and the stem[46, 61, 272]. An important source of dyestuff and tannin, it is perhaps one of the best tannin dyes available in India[194]. The wood is used as a fuel[146]. The spiny branches are used for making fencing around fields[272].

Special 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. Plants are very hardy, they survived the severe winters of 1986-1987 without problems in most areas of Britain[K]. Plants can be pruned back quite severely and resprout well from the base[200]. The fruits are sometimes sold in local markets in India[194]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[1]. Most plants cultivated under this name are B. chitria., B. coriaria., B. glaucocarpa. and, more commonly, B. floribunda[67, 200].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in late winter or early spring[78]. Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate[78]. Stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[80]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Once they are at least 20cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so be careful not to overwater them and keep them well ventilated[113]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very difficult, if not impossible. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame[78]. Very difficult, if not impossible.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Akhray, Barberry (Zirishk), Chitra, Dar-hald, Darhaldi, Daruhald, Daruhalli, Darukaridra, Gruch, Kashmal, Kimor, Nepal Berberis, Rasaut, Simlu,

Found In

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

Asia, Australia, Bhutan, Britain, Europe, Himalayas, India, Nepal, Northeastern India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey,

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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Expert comment

Author

DC.

Botanical References

1151200

Links / References

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

Readers comment

Dr.Volodymyr Mezhenskyj   Mon Nov 17 02:18:18 2003

Berberis Cultivars

Dear Sirs,

I work with barberry as a new fruit crop. The next my selections are of interest:

`Beznasinnevyj Zhovtyj` (means in Ukrainian "yellow seedless") – berries oblong, seedless, yellow, 1 cm in length, weighing up to 0.1 g, sour taste. `Czervonyj Veleten` (means in Ukrainian "red giant") – berries ellipsoid-oblong, red, up to 1.5 cm in length, weighing 0.6 to 0.7 g, sweetish acidic taste. `Lichtaryk` (means in Ukrainian "little lantern") – berries globose bell-shaped, red, 1 cm in diameter, weighing 0.4 g, sweet and sharp taste. `Tzukerka` (means in Ukrainian "candy") – berries globose, yellowish red, 0.8 cm in diameter, weighing 0.2 g, sweetish palatable taste.

Dr.Volodymyr Mezhenskyj Artemivsk Research Center of Institution of Horticulture, Opytne, Artemivsk, Donetska obl., 84571 UKRAINE

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