Barberry (Family Berberidaceae)
Berberidaceae is a family of 15 genera flowering plants commonly
called the Barberry Family. This family is in the order Ranunculales.
The family contains about 570 species, of which the majority (450)
are in Berberis. The species include trees, shrubs and perennial herb-
aceous plants. Family Berberidaceae members widespread in the
north temperate regions (including North America, Europe, and
much of Asia) but can also be found in sub-tropical zones, North
Africa, and tropical mountains of South America. Scattered else-
where, including sub-Sahara Africa.
The APG II system of 2003 (unchanged from the APG system of
1998) recognises the family and places it in Order Ranunculales. In
some older treatments of the family, Berberidaceae only included
four genera (Berberis, Epimedium, Mahonia, Vancouveria), with
the other genera treated in separate families, Leonticaceae
(Bongardia, Caulophyllum, Gymnospermium, Leontice), Nandin-
aceae (Nandina), and Podophyllaceae (Achlys, Diphylleia, Dysosma,
Jeffersonia, Podophyllum, Ranzania).
Mahonia is very closely related to Berberis, and some botanists in-
clude it within Berberis. Species in the two genera can be hybridised,
with the hybrids being classified in the hybrid genus × Mahoberberis.
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