The seed pods on the Berberis chitria at the Palm House are colouring and developing to give an added attraction to this large ungainly semi evergreen shrub.
Plants are found growing as understory within Pinus wallichiana and Rhododendron arboreum forest in the Himachal Pradesh area of Northern India. Introduced to Britain in 1818 the plant is not ideal for garden use due to its ultimate size and spread; 5m tall by 7m wide. It is also furnished with vicious spines at the leaf axils.
The prolific production of fruit and the decorative look of these narrow elongated glossy capsules do give it some merit for cultivation. The fleshy pods are a good source of dye. Smeared on white paper someone with an artistic flair would simulate a water colour painting.
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