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Key to Berberidaceae

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1 Leaves 2-3-ternately compound; [subfamily Nandinoideae].
..2 Plant a shrub, with multiple leaves; flowers white
..2 Plant an herb, with 2 leaves; flowers green, greenish yellow, or maroon
1 Leaves simple (sometimes shallowly to deeply lobed), 2-foliolate, 3-foliolate, or 1-pinnately compound.
....3 Plant a shrub; leaves simple, palmately 3-foliolate, or 1-pinnately compound; flowers yellow; [subfamily Berberidoideae]
......4 Leaves simple, fascicled on short spur shoots; stems spiny; leaves deciduous or evergreen
......4 Leaves 1-pinnately compound or palmately 3-foliolate, either fascicled on short spur shoots (Alloberberis) or not fascicled (Mahonia); stems not spiny; leaves evergreen.
........5 Leaves palmately 3-foliolate; stems dimorphic (leaves fascicled on short shoots); berries red
........5 Leaves 1-pinnately compound; stems monomorphic (leaves borne on primary shoots); berries blue or black
....3 Plant an herb; leaves peltate, 2-parted or radially lobed; flowers white; [subfamily Podophylloideae].
..........6 Plant acaulescent; flower solitary and scapose; leaf segments 2; fruit a capsule
..........6 Plant caulescent; flower solitary, or cymose to umbellate, borne on a stem with leaves; leaf segments several; fruit a berry.
............ 7 Flowers cymose or umbellate; stamens 6; berry globose, 8-12 mm long, 2-4 seeded; larger leaves with only 2 clefts that extend > halfway to the peltate center of the leaf (thus the leaf divided into 2 halves, the other sinuses shallow)
............ 7 Flower solitary; stamens 12-18; berry ovoid, 25-70 mm long, many-seeded; larger leaves with 5 or more clefts that extend > halfway to the peltate center of the leaf (thus the leaf fairly evenly divided into multiple lobes)

Key to Berberis

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1 Leaves 1-pinnately compound, > 10 cm long, not fascicled on short spur shoots; stems not spiny; leaves evergreen.
1 Leaves simple, < 6 cm long, fascicled on short spur shoots; stems spiny; leaves deciduous or evergreen.
..2 Leaves entire; flowers solitary or 2-4 in umbels; spines mostly simple; [section Tschonoskyanae]
..2 Leaves bristly-serrate; flowers 5-many in racemes (sometimes the racemes umbelliform); spines mostly trifurcate (some simple or bifurcate).
....3 Leaves evergreen, coriaceous; leaf teeth tipped with firm prickles; fruits blue-black, pruinose; [section Wallichianae]
....3 Leaves deciduous, herbaceous; leaf teeth tipped with weak bristles; fruits red, not pruinose.
......4 Leaves with 1-9 (20) bristles on each margin, the bristles 3-6 mm apart; berries ovoid (6-9 mm long, 6-7 mm broad), 5-10 (rarely more) in an often umbellate raceme; petals notched at apex; [section Canadenses]
......4 Leaves with 18-36 bristles on each margin, ca. 2 mm apart; berries ellipsoid (8-10 mm long, 4-5 mm broad), 10-20 in a raceme; petals obtuse at apex; [section Vulgares]
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