B. CONGESTIFLORA, from Chili, is not yet well-known, but promises to become a general favourite with lovers of hardy shrubs. It is of unusual appearance for a Barberry, with long, decumbent branches, which are thickly covered with masses of orange-yellow flowers. The branch-tips, being almost leafless and smothered with flowers, impart to the plant a striking, but distinctly ornamental appearance.
B. DARWINII.—Chili, 1849. This is, perhaps, the best known and most ornamental of the family. It forms a dense bush, sometimes 10 feet high, with dark glossy leaves, and dense racemes of orange-yellow flowers, produced in April and May, and often again in the autumn.
B. EMPETRIFOLIA.—Straits of Magellan, 1827. This is a neat-habited and dwarf evergreen species, that even under the best cultivation rarely exceeds 2 feet in height. It is one of the hardiest species, and bears, though rather sparsely, terminal golden-yellow flowers, which are frequently produced both in spring and autumn. For its compact growth and neat foliage it is alone worthy of culture.
B. FORTUNEI (syn Mahonia Fortunei).—China, 1846. This is rather a rare species in cultivation, with finely toothed leaves, composed of about seven leaflets, and bearing in abundance clustered racemes of individually small yellow flowers. A native of China, and requiring a warm, sunny spot to do it justice.
B. GRACILIS (syn Mahonia gracilis).—Mexico. A pretty, half-hardy species, growing about 6 feet high, with slender branches, and shining-green leaves with bright red stalks. Flowers small, in 3-inch long racemes, deep yellow with bright red pedicels. Fruit globular, deep purple.
B. ILICIFOLIA (syn B. Neumanii).—South America, 1791. This is another handsome evergreen species from South America, and requires protection in this country. The thick, glossy-green leaves, beset with spines, and large orange-red flowers, combine to make this species one of great interest and beauty.
B. JAPONICA (syn Mahonia japonica).—Japan. This is not a very satisfactory shrub in these isles, although in warm seaside districts, and when planted in rich loam, on a gravelly subsoil, it forms a handsome plant with noble foliage, and deliciously fragrant yellow flowers.
B. NEPALENSIS (syn Mahonia nepalensis).—Nepaul Barberry. This is a noble Himalayan species that one rarely sees in good condition in this country, unless when protected by glass. The long, chalky-white stems, often rising to 8 feet in height, are surmounted by dense clusters of lemon-yellow flowers. Planted outdoors, this handsome and partly evergreen Barberry must have the protection of a wall.
B. NERVOSA (syn Mahonia glumacea).—North America, 1804. This, with its terminal clusters of reddish-yellow flowers produced in spring, is a highly attractive North-west American species. It is of neat and compact growth, perfectly hardy, but as yet it is rare in cultivation. The autumnal leafage-tint is very attractive.