Any of various shrubs of the genus Berberis, such as Berberis vulgaris, which grows wild in many parts of the world. Barberry bushes have yellow flowers and red berries. The wood from the barberry stems and roots can be cooked in water to extract a strong yellow dye. The extract, called berberis, contains alkaloids (berberine, berbamine, and oxyacanthine) along with some soluble tannins. The yellow color is substantive on wool, leather, and silk. The berries can also be used to make a coral color dye using an aluminum mordant. Barberry colors have poor lightfastness.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Berberis vulgaris (European barberry); Natural Yellow 18; CI 75160; epine vinette (Fr.); Sauerdorn (Deut.); Berberitzen (Deut.); berbero (It.); agracejo (Esp.); crespino (It.); zuurbes (Ned.); berberis; barberry bark; berberine; jaundice berry; woodsour; sowberry; pepperidge bush; sour-spine; hollygrape; Oregon grape;
Tree height = 1-5 m (bush) Bark = gray brown with thorns
° J.Hofenk-de Graaf, Natural Dyestuffs: Origin, Chemical Constitution, Identification, Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science, Amsterdam, September 1969.° Schoch, W., Heller, I., Schweingruber, F.H., Kienast, F., 2004:Wood anatomy of central European Species: Barberry Berberis vulgaris L.
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