Gorse Barberry
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Gorse Barberry
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Gorse Barberry • Ladakhi: ཁིཟེར་Khizer, ཀིརཨརིག་Kiraring
Botanical name: Berberis ulicina    Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry family)

Gorse Barberry is a small hairless shrub, 1-2 m tall, much branched and densely spiny with 5-10 mm long internodes and reddish-brown stems. Spines are 3-pronged, 1-1.5 cm long. Leaves are 5-1.5 mm long, 2-4 mm broad, linear-lanceshaped or very narrowly oblanceolate, often entire to 1-2-spinulose at the margin, green to somewhat glaucous, minutely spine-tipped. Flowers are borne in 3-6-flowered, fascicled clusters hardly or not exceeding the leaves. Flowers are 5 mm in diameter, orange-yellow. Flower-stalks are very short, 2-4 mm long. Petals are slightly shorter than the inner sepals, 4-5 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, emarginate. Stamens are 3-3.5 mm long. Ovules 3-5. Berries is spherical or circular, 4-6 mm long, blackish. Gorse Barberry is found on dry rocks in the Himalayas, in Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet, at altitudes of 2500-3700 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Nubra Valley, Ladakh.

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