Indian Barberry
Share Foto info
Indian Barberry
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Indian Barberry, Tree Turmeric, Chitra • Hindi: Chitra, Chotra, Dar-chob, Dar-hald • Kannada: Baagi soothra, Bagisutra • Malayalam: Kasturimanjal, Maradarisina • Marathi: Daruhalad • Sanskrit: Daruharidra, Darvi, Darurajani, Darhald • Tamil: Kasturimanjal • Telugu: Daruharidra, Kasthoori pushpa, Kasturipaspu • Urdu: Aarghis, Darhald, Darhald nim kofta
Botanical name: Berberis aristata    Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry family)
Synonyms: Berberis chitria D.Don, Berberis coccinea, Berberis macrophylla

Indian Barberry is a shrub up to 5 m. Stems and branches are grooved or angled, hairless or finely velvet-hairy, reddish brown. Leaves are slightly leathery, leaf-stalk indistinct. Blade obovate to narrowly elliptic, 2-6 x 0.5-1.5 cm, base wedge-shaped, tip pointed or blunt, with a short sharp point, margin entire or with 2-10 spinulose teeth on each side, dark green above, paler beneath, venation distinct and slightly raised both sides. Flowers are borne in 4-6 cm long, stalked panicle like racemes of 10-20 flowers. Bracts are ovate, reddish brown, 2-2.5 mm long. Flowers are yellow, about 1 cm in diameter. Flower-cluster-stalk 0.5-2 cm, hairless. Flower-stalk 0.5-1 cm, slightly glaucous. Sepals are in 3 whorls, outer sepals ovate, 2-3 x 1-2 mm; median sepals elliptic or elliptic obovate, 3-5 x 1.5-3 mm; inner sepals obovate, 6-8.5 3 3-5 mm. Petals are obovate, 5-8 x 3-5 mm, base wedge-shaped, tip blunt. Stamens are 4-5.5 mm long, pistil 5-6 mm long; ovules 3-4. Berries are greenish purple becoming dark purple to black on ripening, oblong-ovoid, sometimes asymmetric, 8-10 mm long, slightly glaucous; style thick, 1-2.5 mm long. Indian Barberry is found in Himalaya to S. Tibet and Central India, at altitudes of 1300–3400 m. Flowering: April-June.
Medicinal uses: Tree Turmeric is a revered herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It is claimed to possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and antiseptic properties, the herb is used as a cholagogue, stomachic, laxative and diaphoretic.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale, G.S.Goraya, Narain Singh Chauhan, Saroj Kasaju Photographed in Chopta, Uttarakhand & the Great Hinalayan National Park, HImachal Pradesh.

• Is this flower misidentified? If yes,