A good quality yellow dye is obtained from the roots, bark and stem. As well as being used on cloth, it is also used to stain wood. The unripe fruit is dried and used as beads.Wood - soft, very hard, fine grained, yellow. Used for carving, toothpicks, mosaics etc. It is also used as a fuel.
The bark and root bark are antiseptic, astringent, cholagogue, hepatic, purgative, refrigerant, stomachic and tonic. The bark is harvested in the summer and can be dried for storing. It is especially useful in cases of jaundice, general debility and biliousness, but should be used with caution. The flowers and the stem bark are antirheumatic. The roots are astringent and antiseptic. They have been pulverized in a little water and used to treat mouth ulcers. A tea of the roots and stems has been used to treat stomach ulcers. The root bark has also been used as a purgative and treatment for diarrhoea and is diaphoretic. A tincture of the root bark has been used in the treatment of rheumatism, sciatica etc. The root bark is a rich source of the alkaloid berberine (about 6%). Berberine, universally present in rhizomes 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 with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity and is also effective in the treatment of hypersensitive eyes, inflamed lids and conjunctivitis. A tea made from the fruits is antipruritic, antiseptic, appetizer, astringent, diuretic, expectorant and laxative. It is also used as a febrifuge. The fruit, or freshly pressed juice, is used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder problems, kidney stones, menstrual pains etc. The leaves are astringent and antiscorbutic. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs.The plant (probably the inner bark) is used by homeopaths as a valuable remedy for kidney and liver insufficiency.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame.Suckers, removed in late autumn/early winter and planted out in situ or potted up and planted out in late spring.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Berberis vulgaris. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Hardy to about -35°c. A very ornamental plant, the barberry was at one time cultivated for its edible fruit, there are several named varieties. 'Dulcis' the fruit of which is sweet or slightly sour. 'Asperma' is a seedless form that was often used in France to make a jam. An alternate host of 'black-stem rust' of wheat so it has been extensively grubbed up from its habitats.Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus, though it usually breeds fairly true to type. Can be pruned back quite severely, it resprouts well from the base.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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