1. Family: Berberidaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Berberis L.
      1. Berberis holstii Engl.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Eritrea to Zambia, S. Arabian Peninsula.


    Berberidaceae, R. M. Polhill. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1966

    Glabrous shrub, 1–3 m. tall.
    Young branches partially tinged dull red-brown, with many short shoots, 3–10(–15) mm. long, subtended by 3–5-fid spines; spines 1–4 cm. long, sulcate below.
    Leaves crowded, shortly petiolate, 3-foliolate; lateral leaflets very reduced, subulate or filiform, 1–3(–4) mm. long, persistent; terminal leaflet oblanceolate to obovate, 2.3–7 cm. long, 0.9–3.8 cm. wide, mucronate, entire or usually with several to 20 spiny teeth, coriaceous; venation open reticulate, with the lateral veins very oblique at the base, more spreading above; petiole 1–2 mm. long.
    Inflorescences of 8–15(–24) flowers in little-branched irregular panicles, 2.5–7.5 cm. long; bracts mostly narrowly triangular, up to 5 mm. long, with the lowermost ones often large and leafy.
    Flowers yellow, sometimes tinged red; perianth-segments in 5 series of 3; inner sepals the largest, spreading, rounded at the apex, 6–7 mm. long, 4–4.5 mm. wide; petals 6, brighter yellow, obovate, 4.5–6 mm. long, 2–4.5 mm. wide, with 2 glands near the base.
    Ovary narrowly ellipsoid, with 2–4–6 ovules.
    Berry ellipsoid, 8–12 mm. long, 6–7 mm. across, plum-red to dark purple, pruinose, perfecting 1–4 seeds.
    Stigma persistent.
    Seeds 5–7 mm. long, 2–3 mm. wide, brown, finely rugulose.
    Fig. 1.
    Open upland woodland, edges and glades of upland rain-forest, upland evergreen bushland; 1500–3450 m.
    K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 T2 T3 T6 T7 U1 highland areas from Somali Republic (N.) to Malawi and Zambia (Nyika Plateau)

    Berberidaceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 1:1. 1960

    Glabrous shrub up to 3 m. tall; branches purplish when young, sulcate, with 3-partite spines up to 4 cm. long.
    Leaves usually clustered on short lateral shoots, almost sessile, apparently simple but in reality 3-foliolate with a normal, terminal leaflet articulated at its base and a petiole of c. 1 mm. long bearing 2 subulate lateral leaflets 1–3 mm. long at its apex. The petioles and subulate leaflets are characteristically persistent on the short shoots; lamina of terminal leaflet up to 6 x 2.7 cm., coriaceous, oblong or oblanceolate to obovate, midrib produced as a short prickle, margin prickly-dentate or more rarely entire, purplish when young and somewhat glaucous below.
    Flowers yellow, in axillary racemes or cymes up to 5 cm. long; bracts c. 3 mm. long, lanceolate-acuminate.
    Sepals increasing in size towards the interior, smallest c. 2 x 2 mm., largest c. 6.5 x 4 mm., ovate to broadly ovate, rounded at the apex.
    Petals somewhat smaller than the inner sepals, obovate, with two linear glands near the base.
    Stamens on stout filaments c. 2 mm. long; anthers c. 2.5 mm. long, oblong, opening by a pair of spreading wing-like valves 1.5 mm. long, hinged at the apex of the anther-thecae.
    Ovary narrowly ellipsoid, c. 4-ovulate, with a broad capitate subsessile stigma.
    Berry c. 1.3 x 0.7 cm., ellipsoid, dark blue, pruinose, with a persistent stigma.
    Seed c. 6 x 3 mm., usually solitary, ellipsoid, brown, rugulose.



    Native to:

    Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Oman, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia

    Berberis holstii Engl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1962 Grant, D.K.S. [19], Tanzania K000230156 holotype

    First published in Abh. Königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1894: 69 (1894)

    Accepted by

    • Edwards, S., Tadesse, M., Demissew, S. & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (2000). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 2(1): 1-532. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. MIM, Deurne.
    • Exell, A.W. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1960). Flora Zambesiaca 1(1): 1-336. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Ahrendt in Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Botany 57: 102 (1961).
    • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 58 (1961).
    • Wild in Flora Zambesiaca 1: 171, t. 24 (1960).
    • Milne-Redh. in Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 8: 215 (1953).
    • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 70(1949).
    • Battiscombe & Dale, Trees and Shrubs of Kenya Colony p. 9 (1936).
    • Sprague in Hook., Ic. Pl. 31, t. 3021 (1915).
    • Engl., Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile C: 181 (1895).


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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    Kew Backbone Distributions
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    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0