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.
As of 12-28-21 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online still lists 13 accepted genera in this family which include the genera Achlys (3 species), Berberis (618 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).
The generas Diphylleia (3 species) and Dysosma (11 species) have become synonyms of the genus Podophyllum L. and the genus Plagiorhegma was added between the last two updates.
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 under their photos (below) to go to their pages.
You can click on the links below for more information about this family of plants.
I met my first Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) when I moved to Mississippi in 2009. The mansion had A LOT of them growing in the back yard and west side of the house. I liked them so well I brought one with me when I moved back to the family farm in west-central Missouri in 2013. It is still alive and well…
I can remember seeing Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple) as far back as I can remember. When I was a kid, my grandpa and I would go mushroom hunting in a wooded area along a creek behind the farm. I was always told when you see the Mayapples it is time to go mushroom hunting. Maybe it meant when they were in bloom… I always admired their huge leaves. Most of the photos on this plant’s gage were taken in a friend’s secluded woods in 2020. There are A LOT growing there.