Allegheny Barberry (Berberis canadensis)

Shrub
B. angulizans.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Allegheny Barberry
Berberis canadensis
Berberidaceae

A yellow dye is obtained from the root.

  • Medicinal Use

    Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery[218]. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine[218]. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity[218].

    A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of fevers and diarrhoea[222].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked. Agreeably acid[2, 22, 46, 95, 161], they are an acceptable raw fruit in small quantities but are more commonly used in preserves[177, K]. The fruits are about 9mm long[200].

    Leaves – raw. A trailside nibble[102].

    Flowers[102]. No more details.

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, when it should germinate in late winter or early spring[78]. Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate[78], whilst stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[80]. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so should be kept well ventilated[113]. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame. If growth is sufficient, it can be possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the autumn, but generally it is best to leave them in the cold frame for the winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame[78].
Prefers a warm moist loamy soil but is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils[11, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in full sun or light shade[11, 200]. The plant is an alternate host of ‘black stem rust’ of cereals and so it is often grubbed out when growing wild in cereal-producing areas. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[1]. Plants can be pruned back quite severely and resprout well from the base[200].
Eastern N. America – Virginia to Georgia, Alberta and Indiana.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.