Dear Saroj

One always must be ultra cautious when suggesting species names for 
*Berberis*.  I often go on about difficult genera identification-wise.  
This genus is seriously challenging.  Mr Tebbs who prepared the account for 
Berberidaceae within 'An Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal' (Vol 
II, 1979) commented that his list was based mainly on the work of Ahrendt 
in 1961.  However, various problems still remain.  A critical revision of 
this genus is urgently needed based upon the abundant material recently 
collected in Nepal and adjacent regions.  As far as I know the situation 
remains the same today!  Work has been done in China (though differences of 
opinion have arisen) and I believe work is underway covering the extreme 
East of the Himalaya/NE India but how much that will help in Nepal,
remains to be seen (and the Indian Western Himalaya of course).  'Flowers 
of the Himalaya' say, "Individual species are often difficult to 
distinguish from each other".   I have come across quite a number of 
Berberis in various parts of the Himalaya and remain uncertain as to their 
identity.  *So IF someone with expertise in this genus in the main Himalaya 
incl. Nepal exists and is available to view these images and comment with 
authority, that would be great but in the mean time we must be careful in 
our attempts at naming.*

*For the present, I will comment as best I can, having not attempted to 
make a special study of Berberis in the Himalaya.* 

Only having a very poor pressed specimen at Kew to go on see: and the 
information in 'Flora of Bhutan' Vol 1 Part 2 (1984) where the leaves are 
described as elliptic (which hardly fits the specimen at Kew) including it 
is only recorded from Bhutan and not Sikkim, making a record from the 
Kathmandu Valley unlikely.  I do not consider it comes near to 
*B.griffithiana*.  There was no record for *B.griffithiana* in the Nepal 

Grierson who wrote the account of Berberidaceae for this Flora commented 
about the great variability within this genus numerous varieties have been 
created; for the sake of simplicity these were largely ignored and he 
discounted several old records of Berberis species supposedly found in the 

As for the definite ident of *B.aristata* - I really cannot be sure.  The 
fruits are immature, so that does not help and the non-close-up views of 
foliage do not match so images which may be reliable, such as in 'Flowers 
of the Himalaya'.  I also consider the closer view of the undersurface of a 
leaf is not consistent with the strictly limited detail I have about this 
species.  The foliage shown in a number of pressed specimens at Kew (see 
shows variation.

I have consulted 'The Flora of Kathmandu Valley' - this lists 4 species: 
*B.wallichiana*, *B.asiatica*, *B.chitria* and *B.aristata*.  Clearly, and 
with due respect, this was a highly provisional account especially for such 
a difficult genus.  I found the descriptions of the species somewhat 
contradictory. Certainly, altitude-wise, what they took to be *B.aristata* 
(but that is no guarantee of the identification) was found at elevations of 
2400-2700m, which is consistent to where Saroj photographed the Berberis.  

*In conclusion, we can be pretty confident it is not B.griffithiana but not 
sure it comes within B.aristata.   Looking forward to a critical revision 
of this genus.  In what remains my lifetime?  We shall see.*

On Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 3:23:23 PM UTC+1, Saroj Kumar Kasaju wrote:

> Dear Members,
> Sharing some pictures for ID shot at the Chandragiri Hill Kathmandu on 19 
> September 2016 at 8200 ft.
> Could it be 
> *Berberis griffithiana *var.* pallida* (J. D. Hooker & Thomson) D. F. 
> Chamberlain & C. M. Hu
> syn: 
> *Berberis bhutanensis* Ahrendt (synonym)
> The plant is tall about 15 ft in height or more.
> Thank you.

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