Photographed at Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona. April
SHRUB: A stiff, woody shrub often several meters in height and spreading
to a similar diameter.
ARMED. The leaves are stiff and each lobe bares a very sharp spine. The stiff, woody
stems are, however, without spines.
LEAVES: Leaves are pinnately compound with three to five sharply lobed leaflets. The
leaves often have a distinctive blue-gray cast.
RANGE: This plant of chaparral and juniper woodland is found at the
upper elevations of the Sonoran Desert, but sometimes lower in shady,
water-supplied locations in canyons. It is also found in shrubby habitats from
California to Texas.
FRUIT: Red berries are dry at maturity and seem to remain on the shrubs for
long periods, well into the autumn and winter; apparently they are not highly
attractive to birds.
FLOWERS: Bright yellow flowers in panicled clusters are very sweetly
fragrant. There are nine green sepals and six yellow petals. Half dozen
stamens. Blooming in spring.
Berberidaceae -- Barberry Family