Berberis iberica paphlagonica C.K.Schneid.
Berberis vulgaris crataegina (DC.) Hook.f. & Thomson
Berberis crataegina is a deciduous shrub that can grow around 100 - 200cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of dyestuff. The fruit is a popular snack food in Turkey, where the plant is commonly used for medicinal purposes.
All parts of the plant contain the alkaloid berberine - this is most concentrated in the roots, stems and inner bark, and least concentrated in the fruits. In small quantities berberine has a range of effective medicinal applications but, in excess, can cause vomiting, lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate, lethargy, and other ill-effects.
The fruit of most, if not all, members of this genus are more or less edible and can be eaten in quantity since the levels of berberine in the fruit are very low.
Western Asia - Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan
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Species in this genus generaly prefer a warm moist loamy soil and light shade but they are by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils.
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
Plants can be pruned back quite severely and resprout well from the base[
Some Berberis species (especially Berberis vulgaris) harbour the black stem-rust fungus (Puccinia graminis Persoon). This is a major disease of wheat and barley crops and can spread from infected barberries to the grain crop. The sale or transport of susceptible or untested species of Berberis is illegal in the United States and Canada[
]. We have no data on susceptibility for this species[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A delicious astringent and sourish flavour[
]. The fruit is used to make juices, marmalades and jellies. In Turkey they are often sun-dried and then used as a snack food. The ripe fruit varies from dark purple to black
The fruits are antioxidant, diuretic, expectorant and febrifuge[
]. The fruit paste has been used to increase stamina and in particular to maintain healthy cardiovascular function[
The roots and root bark are analgesic, antiinflammatory, appetizer, febrifuge and tonic. They are used as a treatment against various ailments including jaundice, haemorrhoids, dysuria and feverish conditions[
An aqueous extract of the bark is reported to be used to treat rheumatism and fever[
The leaves, fnıits and roots are antimicrobial, antihistaminic, anticholinergic, antiinflammatory and vasodilator. They have been used in the treatment of liver and gastrointestinal disorders such as enteritis and diarrhoea[
The alkaloid berberine, which is universally present in the roots and stems 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[
It should not be used in combination with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine[
Berberine has also shown antitumour activity[
The fresh and dried roots and bark are the source of a dye[
]. Probably a yellow dye[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, when it should germinate in late winter or early spring[
]. Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate[
], whilst stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[
]. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so should be kept well ventilated[
]. 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, mid summer in a frame.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, preferably with a heel, autumn in a frame[