Red Barberry (Berberis haematocarpa)

Red berries against gray-green spiny leaves.

NPS Photo

Red Barberry (Berberis haematocarpa) is so named for its berries rather than the pretty yellow flowers. This large shrub is native throughout the Southwest and northern Mexico. The rigid pinnate leaves are made up of lanceolate leaflets with very spiny edges. The wax cuticle creates the grayish hue. The whorled yellow flowers grow in inflorescences of three to five blossoms through spring. The fruit are juicy deep red which were traditionally used as fresh and preserved food by the indigenous people. The wood was also used for both a yellow dye and a medication.

Last updated: July 31, 2021

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Petrified Forest National Park
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