Berberis darwinii shoot with flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Berberidaceae

See text

The Berberidaceae are a family of 15 genera flowering plants commonly called the barberry family. This family is in the order Ranunculales. The family contains about 570 species, of which the majority (450) are in Berberis. The species include trees, shrubs and perennial herbaceous plants.


The APG II system of 2003 (unchanged from the APG system of 1998) recognises the family and places it in the order Ranunculales in the clade eudicots.

In some older treatments of the family, Berberidaceae only included four genera (Berberis, Epimedium, Mahonia, Vancouveria), with the other genera treated in separate families, Leonticaceae (Bongardia, Caulophyllum, Gymnospermium, Leontice), Nandinaceae (Nandina), and Podophyllaceae (Achlys, Diphylleia, Dysosma, Jeffersonia, Podophyllum, Ranzania).

Mahonia is very closely related to Berberis, and some botanists include it within Berberis. Species in the two genera can be hybridised, with the hybrids being classified in the hybrid genus × Mahoberberis.


  1. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121.  

External links

  • Berberidaceae, Leonticaceae, Nandinaceae, Podophyllaceae in L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz (1992 onwards), The families of flowering plants.
  • Berberidaceae links
  • NCBI Taxonomy Browser: Berberidaceae
  • Flora of North America: Berberidaceae
  • Chilean Berberidaceae, by Chileflora