Small glabrous shrub, 1-2 (-3) m tall, much branched and densely spiny with 5-10 mm long internodes and reddish-brown stems; spines 3-fid, 10-15 mm long. Leaves 5-1.5 mm long, (1-) 2-4 mm broad, linear-lanceolate or very narrowly oblanceolate, often entire to 1-2-spinulose at the margin, green to subglaucous, obscurely veined, acute and minutely spine-tipped. Inflorescence, 3-6-flowered, fascicled or fascicled-subumbellate, hardly or not exceeding the leaves. Flowers 5 mm in diameter, orange-yellow; pedicels very short, 2-4 mm long. Petals slightly shorter than the inner sepals, 4-5 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, emarginate. Stamens 3-3.5 mm long. Ovules 3-5. Berries globose or suborbicular 4-6 mm long, blackish, estylose, 3-5-seeded.
Type: W. Tibet, adjacent to Nubra, 14000-16000 ft., dry rocks, 1849, Hooker f. (K).
Distribution: Tibet and Kashmir.
Berberis kaschgarica Rupr. with slightly longer and broader leaves [10-20 (-30) x 2-4 (-7) mm] and somewhat ovoid and larger, c. 8 x 6 mm berries is hardly different from this species. It is found in Yarkand and Tian-shan and may occur in our area also.