Berberis vulgaris var. aetnensis Hook. f. & Thoms.
Small shrub, 1-1.5 m tall; young shoots red, minutely puberulous, mature sterns, sulcate, glabrous, brown or yellowish-red; internodes 1-2 cm long; spines 1-3-fid, sometimes suppressed, 1-2.5 cm long. Leaves 15-45 mm long, 5-15 mm broad, narrowly obovate or elliptic, subsessile, acute to acuminate, 4-7(-10)-spinose-serrate at the margin, scarcely reticulate, openly veined, green, epruinose. Panicles c. as long as the leaves, densely 15-30(-40)-flowered on 5-15 mm long peduncles; secondary peduncles 4-7 mm long. Flowers 5-6 mm across; pedicels 1.5-4 mm long, red-brown, puberulous; bracts 1-2 mm long. Petals as long as the inner sepals, 4-4.5 mm long, c. 3 mm broad. Ovary with 2 ovules. Berries oblong, subovoid, 6-8 mm long, 4-4.5 mm broad, estylose to very shortly styled, red, 1-2-seeded.
Fl. Per.: May July.
Type: Punjab Himalaya, Kunawur, Royle..
Distribution: Pakistan, Kashmir to Chamba and Tehri (India).
Berberis edgeworthiana Schneid., very closely related and doubtfully distinct from this species with yellow glabrous stem, leaves somewhat broader, pedicels 2 mm long and glabrous with bracts c. as long, may also be found within our area. R.R. Stewart (l.c. 278) doubtfully cited Toppin 276 from Chitral and Zahur’s specimen from Falksar, Swat (see under Berberis aitchisonii Ahrendt). Berberis orthobotrys subsp. capitata Jafri may be confused with this species but racemes occasionally panicled below, usually subumbellate or subfascicled and pedicels much longer than the bracts. This is often found in dense patches in open places.