Scientific Name:
Berberis japonica (Thunb.) R.Br. (1816)
  • Ilex japonica Thunb. (1784)
  • Mahonia japonica (Thunb.) DC. (1821)

Arborescent shrub to c. 3 m high; stems few and with terminal crown of lvs. Lvs to c. 40 cm long, sessile, composed of 5–9 pairs of sessile (except the terminal) leaflets, the basal pair smaller and stipule-like, the terminal leaflet largest. Leaflets of main pairs 4–7.5 × 2–3.5 cm, ovate, rigidly coriaceous, with 2–5 spiny teeth on margins; apex spiny. Racemes lax and spreading, to c. 20 cm long; basal scales to 1.5 cm long, broadly ovate, membranous, dark brown. Bracts ovate, slightly < pedicels at anthesis. Perianth segments to 9 mm long, ovate, imbricate except for short outermost whorl. Stamens included, < inner perianth segments; filaments entire. Style very short. Berry 8–10 mm long, ± broadly obovoid, blue-black and pruinose.

[From: Webb et al. (1985) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4 as Mahonia japonica (Thunb.) DC.]

Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.
Wu, C.Y.; Raven, P.H.; Hong, D.Y. (ed.): Flora of China. Science Press, Beijing, and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.