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Berberis wilsoniae

Berberis wilsoniae

The last reader-contributed photograph (original image) of 2006 is supplied by Eric in SF@Flickr. After tomorrow's entry, I'm taking a “writing vacation” from BPotD until January 15, 2007. For the next four weeks, I'll be posting some of my abstract botanical / landscape photographs from 2006 with little or no scientific commentary. If abstracts aren't to your liking, I hope you'll revisit the site in the middle of January when BPotD returns to its more traditional format.

In addition to relaying my thanks to Eric for today's photograph (thank you, Eric!), I'd also like to thank everyone who has submitted photographs for BPotD since its inception. For those who have submitted, you may have noted I can't use every photograph (whether it be for size, or repetition, or lack of imagination on my part to write something about the subject), but I do want to state that I appreciate your generosity and thoughtfulness. Thank you to all of you.

Wilson's barberry is named after the wife of the famous plant explorer, E.H. Wilson (thanks Greg and Peter – see comments below re: my mistake). If you're researching the plant online, it is important that you also search for a misspelling of the scientific name, Berberis wilsonii, a common error which had creeped into the Wikipedia article on Berberis (though I've now corrected it).

Eric also has a photograph of the flowers on Flickr. You may note the strong resemblance to the flowers of Mahonia – Douglas's comment on the Mahonia entry explains some of the differences between the two genera.

If you're interested in reading more about the area of China where Berberis wilsoniae can be found (and some of E.H. Wilson's adventures), Discover magazine published “The Mother of Gardens” in August 2005.

Lastly, I submitted the recent photograph of the varied thrush and Chinese mountain ash to the I and the Bird Blog Carnival, “a carnival celebrating the interaction of human and avian, an ongoing exploration of the endless fascination with birdlife all around the world”. It's made an appearance in the text of I and the Bird 38 on the Ben Cruachan Blog. If you're interested in birds at all, I and the Bird is certainly worth following.


Berberis wilsoniae - Z6 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
Berberis wilsoniae - Z6-9 - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk

I've always thought this was Mrs. Wilson's Barberry. If it were named after Wilson himself, wouldn't it be wilsonii? Hemsley's original description (Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1906: 151. 1906) might make explicit whom he's commemorating, but I'm not able to get to the library just now.

Anyway, it's a favorite in my garden.

Hi Daniel,

You certainly deserve a "writing vacation" - you are an inspiration to us all! A small contribution here. Berberis wilsoniae is named after the wife of E.H. Wilson, hence the feminine ending to the specific name.
The photograph brings back surging memories of a recent field trip to southern Sichuan where this species adorned treeless mountain slopes from the subalpine to hot arid valley bottom habitats. A plant much loved in the UK for the combination of toughness, resilience and dainty aesthetics. Peter

Thanks Greg and Peter - I appreciate it!

Enjoy your writing vacation, Daniel. Actually, I'm very much looking forward to seeing your abstracts and landscapes!

Have a great year end & beginning break, Daniel. Thanks for spreading so much botany love on the 'net!

truly splendid, I continue to watch your beautiful photos even if I do not write to you, and I have little to make,



beautiful beautiful stunningly beautiful photo from Eric. Thanks for posting it here, Daniel -- the berries look good enough to eat in this image.

You deserve a long break from your writing -- everything you do for the website it MUCH appreciated by me and I'm sure by the many visitors BPOTD now has. I would imagine the number to be in the millions. You've done an excellent thing here with the BPOTD website. Every day there is a new photo, thanks to you and the many people who submit their photos. I've been honored to have my own photos featured here. It's a gift to see one of mine here, really.

I have come to this photo backwards from January 19th and have to say your idea for a writing vacation and abstract photos w/o commentary is great. You have put up some lovely abstract compositions that would be gorgeous blown up huge and hung on the walls on campus somewhere. What do you think about that idea?

take care and enjoy your break. Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate.

it is a great medicated and beutiful tree. in homeopeathy barbarisQ usesin cure or stone medicine.it is a hearbs of great economic value plant.

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