Berberis aquifolium Pursh

Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 219, t. 4. (1814) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Evergreen, often low and suckering shrub 0.5–3 m high. Branchlets glabrous. Spines absent. Leaves pinnately divided, to 30 cm long, flexible or rigid; leaflets 5–9(–11), obliquely ovate, 5–10 cm long, 2– 5 cm wide, with 15–35 spines along the sides, upper surface glossy green, lower surface pale and dull. Racemes 5–8 cm long, 30–60-flowered; pedicle to 10 mm long; bracteoles absent;  sepals ovate, 3–4 mm long; petals yellow, oblong or obovate, 5–7 mm long, inner petals shorter than outer. Berry globose, c. 6 mm long, dark blue with a waxy bloom. Flowers Sep.–Nov.

*HNF. Native to North America, grown as an ornamental, persisting in old gardens.

Berberis aquifolium is often hybridised with other Berberis species making identification difficult.

Created by: Andre Messina, 2015-02-16
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-06-29
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Ranunculanae
order Ranunculales
family Berberidaceae
genus Berberis
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Berberis aquifolium in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Berberis aquifolium in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Gippsland Plain present cultivated
Highlands-Northern Fall present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory