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Berberis ruscifolia is a deciduous shrub found in areas such as S. America - Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay. A member of the Berberidaceae family, Berberis ruscifolia Lam does not go by a known (to us) common name. The shrub can grow to a height of meters and up to meters wide. The preferred habitat of the plant, with LMH soil and SN moisture levels. .
The plant is a zone hardy plant that has medicinal uses - the medicinal usage rating of is 2Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.
Berberis ruscifolia is a non flowering plant which is pollinated by Insects, self.
The plant has an edibility rating of 2Fruit - cooked. Somewhat bitter.
Cultivation tips: Prefers a warm moist loamy soil and light shade but it is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils[11 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. We have very little information on this species but it succeeds outdoors at Oxford Botanical Gardens and so should be hardy in many parts of Britain. Plants can be pruned back quite severely, they resprout well from the base. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. This species is closely related to B. illicifolia.
. The plant should best be propagated by Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, when it should germinate in late winter or early spring. Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate, whilst stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so should be kept well ventilated. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame. If growth is sufficient, it can be possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the autumn, but generally it is best to leave them in the cold frame for the winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame.
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