Barberry is also known by several other common names, including Pepperidge Bush. The former combines the words pepon and rouge, which respectively mean “pip” and “red” and refer to the juicy, bright red berries of the plant.
Although barberry is a common hedge plant and is frequently seen planted in rows along the perimeter of farmlands, the shrub was once suspected of causing blight in wheat crops. Since blight is a fungal infection that comes from contaminated soil, this theory has been discredited. However, barberry can play host to another kind of fungus called rust that affects leaves.
In Europe, barberry root is combined with alum or lye to produce varying shades of a yellow dye with which to tint cotton, wool, and leather.
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