Table 1: Comparative botanical analysis of the roots of four Berberis species.

CharactersBerberis aristata Berberis asiatica Berberis chitria Berberis lycium

MacroscopicOuter surface of the bark, creamish brown, and the inner surface attached to wood is yellowish brown. Bark 2 mm thick, knotty and brittle.
Cut surface of the wood is bright yellow.
Fracture hard, odourless and bitter in taste.
Fine longitudinal ridges and flakes are present
Outer surface creamish brown but inner surface is muddy yellow.
Bark 2 mm thick, friable separated out immediately from woody part.
Cut surface of the wood lemon yellow.
Fracture very hard, odour phenolic and very bitter in taste
Outer surface light brown, grooved with transverse marks, bark not easily detachable.
Bark upto 5 mm thick, split longitudinally.
Cut surface bright yellow.
Fracture hard, odour faintly phenolic and very bitter in taste
Outer surface grayish brown with shinnings. Bark up to 3 mm thick, brittle, warty and easily detachable.
Cut surface deep yellow
Fracture hard, odour phenolic and bitter in taste
Cork cellsBrown, 10–20 layeredBrown, 12–15 layeredDark brown, 8–10 layeredDark brown, 8–11 layered
Cork Cambium2 or 3 layered1 or 2 layered1 or 2 layered2 or 3 layered
Cortical zone30–35 layered, outer 4 to 6 layers compressed, devoid of stone cells18–20 layered12–20 layered17–22 layered
SclereidsSolitary or in group of 2 to 10Rarely solitary but in group of 2 to 12, comparatively more than other three species2 to 4 in groups2 to 4 in groups
Pericyclic fibresMostly solitary but sometimes in groups of 2 to 10 Interrupted with stone cellsFrequently present comparatively lesser than B. aristata and B. asiatica Frequently present comparatively lesser than other three species
VesselsSolitary or in group of 2 or 3Solitary or in group of 2 or 5Solitary or in group of 2 or 3Solitary or in group of 3 or 4
Medullary Rays2 to 4 cells broad2 to 3 cells broad2 to 4 cells broad2 to 5 cells broad