Berberidaceae Family:

Red berries on the Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) by the driveway at the mansion on 11-22-12, #130-18.

Berberidaceae Juss.


The plant family Berberidaceae Juss. was named and described by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in Genera Plantarum in 1789.

This family of plants is commonly referred to as the Barberry family which includes trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.

Plants of the World Online lists 13 accepted genera in this family which include the genera Achlys (3 species), Berberis (604 species), Bongardia (2 species), Caulophyllum (3 species), Epimedium (64 species), Gymnospermum (11 species), Jeffersonia (1 species), Leontice (4 species), Nandina (1 species), Plagiorhegma (1 species), Podophyllum (17 species), Ranzania (1 species), Vancouveria (3 species). 

Since the last update, generas Diphylleia (3 species) and Dysosma (11 species) have become synonyms of the genus Podophyllum L. and the genus Plagiorhegma was added. 

Of course, all those numbers and names could change as updates are made.

According to Plants of the World Online, the Mahonia genus is now a synonym of Berberis. I have met a Mahonia japonica in Leland, Mississippi and its leaves resembled a Holly (Ilex genus which is in the plant family Aquifoliaceae)… I ran across an interesting page from the Missouri Botanical Garden on Mahonia japonica. It says in the 2009 revision of Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Michael Dirr declined to eliminate Mahonia as a genus by stating “I refuse to go there.” The 2013 version of The Plant List included 46 accepted species of Mahonia. Now Mahonia japonica is now Berberis japonica. Mahonia japonica was named 1821…

Most of my experience with the family is with Podophyllum peltatum and Nandina domestica. You can click on their name in the caption under their photos to go to their pages.

Plants of the World Online also only lists one accepted species of Nandina where version 1.1 (2013) of The Plant List named four. I first did research on the Nandina because there were a lot of Nandina domestica at the mansion where I lived in Mississippi. I brought a small one with me when I moved back to west-central Missouri in 2013. There have been a lot of changes in the scientific world of plant names and I am sure there are a lot more to come. It was and is necessary.

For more information about this family of plants, please click on the links below.



Please leave a comment. I would like to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.