Berberis Gagnepainii (Berberidaceae)
The generic name is apparently of Arabian origin for this shrub was introduced into Europe as an ornamental by the Berbers. The genus is extraordinarily large, numbering some 175 species, found in practically all parts of the world. Many are suitable for parks and gardens and include both deciduous and evergreen species. Berberis gangepainii belongs to the latter group, which also contains several other important species such as B. buxifolia nana, B. candidula, B. darwinii, B. julianae, B. stenophylla, B. veitchii, and B. verruculosa, a native of western China introduced into Europe by Wilson in 1913.
Berberis gagnepainii grows to a height of about 2m (6 ft). The leaves are narrowly lanceolate, slightly wavy, 3 to 10 cm (1 to 4 in) long, toothed, dark mat green and slightly leathery. Theare bright yellow and borne in clusters of three to ten from May to June. The fruits are ovate, bluish-black berries covered with bloom. Like all evergreen species (as opposed to the deciduous species) this shrub requires a richer, humusy but one that is not damp; it thrives in light shade. It may be propagated from seed but is usually increased by means of ripe cuttings rooted in a frame. It may be planted as a solitary specimen or in groups and also makes good untrimmed hedges.