May be harmful in large amounts. See Notes.
Approximately 2.7 (9ft) branching, spiny shrub with gray bark. Leaves are alternate or arranged in rosettes. Leaves are flat, ovaloid, and have many spiny teeth. Flowers are present April through June. Fruits are red and berry-like. Root bark is yellow.
Widely planted as an ornamental shrub. Grows in the wild throughout New England.
Uses and Parts Used
Fruit tea used as an appetite stimulant, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, and itch-relief.
Root tea used as an astringent and antiseptic as well as to treat jaundice, hepatitis, fever, and diarrhea. Root tincture used for arthritis and rheumatism.
Leaf tea used for coughs.
Contains compounds berberine and berbamine which have antibacterial and white blood cell increasing activities, respectively. May be harmful in large doses.