ftshl-wildrosesmp8-sm.jpg (9176 bytes)Common Barberry (Berberis vulgaris L.)
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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.   And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Flowering Trees, Bushes and Shrubs of Sleepy Hollow Lake
Common Barberry (Berberis vulgaris L.)

(Barberry Common - 01)  We spotted this common barberry growing on the edge of the woods along the side of the road.  The common barberry is a native of Europe and was brought to the United States for medicinal use.  It is considered an invasive species and has been blamed for causing wheat rust or mildew, but we have also read that in more recent times that this claim has not be substantiated, but that both plants are susceptible to the same rust disease.


(Barberry Common - 01a)  The common barberry can grow to heights of 8 to 10 feet, and has gray or ash colored grooved bark. The leaves grow in clusters, or fascicles, and are between 1 and 1-1/2 inches long.  The yellow flowers hang down in pendulous racemes; most of which in this photo are still in their bud stage.



(Barberry Common - 01b)  The edges of the common barberry leaves are finely serrated with tiny spines at the end of each tooth.  Two or three sharp spines form at each leaf node.  The flower racemes are between 1 and 2 inches long.




(Barberry Common - 02)  This is another look at a common barberry bush, which can grow to be 6 feet wide.





(Barberry Common - 02a)  In this photo we have a closer look at the clusters of leaves and the hanging flower racemes. By looking closely at the edges of the leaves against the dark background, we can see the fine barbs at the end of each tooth.  The main thorns on the branches are hidden under the leaves.






(Barberry Common - 03)  This is another look one the branches of the common barberry with its hanging racemes of flower buds.





(Barberry Common - 03a)  In this photo we have a closer look at the thorns on the edges of the common barberry leaves and the hanging raceme of flower buds.








(Barberry Common - 04)  In this photo, we see that the common barberry is growing along with wild grapes that also have clusters of buds.





(Barberry Common - 05)  This is another photo of the wild grapes and common barberry growing together.





(Barberry Common - 06)  In this photo, we can see that some of the common barberry flowers have opened.





(Barberry Common - 06a)  In this photo we can see the common barberry thorns sticking out from the remnant of a prior year's leaf cluster.  We also have a closer look at the flowers.





(Barberry Common - 07)  This is a close up look at some of the flower bud on a common barberry raceme.





(Barberry Common - 07a)  This is a very close look at one of the common barberry flower buds.





(Barberry Common - 08)  This is a closer up look at some of the common barberry flower buds as they begin to open.





(Barberry Common - 08a)  This is a bee's eye look at one of the opening common barberry flowers.






(Barberry Common - 09)  This is another close up look at the common barberry flowers and buds. The common barberry flower stamens are very sensitive when touched and spring close to the pistil. Insects of various kinds are very fond of the Barberry flowers.




(Barberry Common - 09a)  This is another bee's eye view of a common barberry flower as it usually hangs on the raceme.  Each flower is about 1/2 inch long.





(Barberry Common - 10)  This is another look at the newly opening common barberry flowers.





(Barberry Common - 10a)  In this photo, we are looking up into the "bowl" of a common barberry flower.






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Presented here are just a few of the countless components of God's creation.  Just as we cannot have human and animal life without water and plants, neither can we have lasting peace without love and compassion.  It is our hope and prayer that this series will motivate people to live and act in a cruelty-free manner; that we would no longer hurt or destroy each other, the animals or our environment.

Photos by Frank L. Hoffman unless otherwise noted.
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