Berberis umbellata auct. non Wall.ex G. Don: Parker
Shrub, 2-3 m tall, deciduous, glabrous; stems slender, subterete to finely sulcate, dark-red to brownish or yellowish, often verruculose; spines 1(-3)-fid, (6-) 10-15 mm long. Leaves 10-30 (-35) mm long, (6-) 10-20 mm broad, oblong-obovate, narrowed below into 5-10 mm long petiole, entire to 1-5 (rarely more) spinulose at margin, apex mostly rounded, often dull green, somewhat greyish-pruinose below, venation branched to somewhat reticulate. Inflorescence (3-) 5-10-flowered, umbellate to subumbellate, 10-25 (-50) mm long, including peduncle 5-10 mm long. Flowers c. 1 cm in diameter; pedicels 6-10 (-15) mm long, stout, sometimes thin and longer; bracts 1 mm long; prophylls 1-1.5 mm long, yellowish. Outer sepals ovate, 2-2.8 mm long; inner sepals c. 5. mm long, obovate. Petals 5-6 mm long, 3 mm broad, somewhat clawed. Stamens c. 4 mm long, truncate at the apex. Ovules 3. Berries 9-10 (-12) mm long 6-9 mm broad, obovoid to somewhat ovoid, hard, pithy or rigid, conspicuously pruinose blue or white, estylose to very shortly stylose (c. 0.25 mm), 2-3 seeded.
A very variable species of dry forest undergrowths. Differs from Berberis umbellate Wall. ex G. Don, a species of central Himalaya to Kumaon, by its rigid, usually obovoid-globose berries, often entire or few spinulose leaves, and 3, sessile ovules only. This may be confused with Berberis brandisiana Ahrendt, but fruits different, ovules 3 only. Among our specimens there seems to be some overlapping with this species and Berberis jaeschkeana Schneid., Berberis orthobotrys Bien. ex Aitch. and Berberis stewartiana Jafri but fruits rigid. One gathering from Gilgit Dist., (Ghafoor 815,) with simple to panicled inflorescence, is being separated as a subspecies.