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;
Physical and Chemical Properties
Tree height = 1-5 m (bush) Bark = gray brown with thorns
Resources and Citations
- 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.
- R.J. Adrosko, Natural Dyes in the United States, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1968
- Helmut Schweppe, Schweppe color collection index and information book
- Palmy Weigle, Ancient Dyes for Modern Weavers, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1974
- John and Margaret Cannon, Dye Plants and Dyeing, Herbert Press, London, 1994
- Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "Barberry." Accessed 4 Sept. 2004 .
- F. Crace-Calvert, Dyeing and Calico Printing, Palmer & Howe, London, 1876
- Colour Index International online at www.colour-index.org
- Judith Hofenk-de Graaff, Natural Dyestuffs: Origin, Chemical Constitution, Identification, Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science, Amsterdam, 1969
- J. Thornton, 'The Use of Dyes and Colored Varnishes in Wood Polychromy', Painted Wood: History and Conservation, The Getty Conservation Insitute, Los Angeles, 1998
- Website: Virginia Tech Dencrology website at www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/main.htm (accessed Oct. 3, 2005)
- Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barberry (Accessed Oct. 3, 2005)
- The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 988
- Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
- Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
- The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998