Berberis repens “Creeping Oregon Grape” Berberidaceae

Salmon-Challis National Forest, ID
March 19, 2015
Robert Niese

It’s a little early for Oregon Grape to be blooming! This species is our only Berberis native to the dry pinelands of the Northwest.

Berberis aquifolium “Tall Oregon Grape” Berberidaceae

Tacoma, WA
May 18, 2013
Robert Niese

The roots of these plants are often used to treat Psoriasis and can be found in topical creams such as Relieva. The stems of most members of this family contain a yellow compound called berberine which is both a strong antimicrobial and an excellent dye. Its berries are sometimes used to make barberry wine and can also produce a pleasant purple dye. Eaten alone however, the fruits of most Berberis are bitter and unpalatable.