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Berberis buxifolia

Calafate redirects here. For the Patagonian town, see El Calafate

Berberis microphylla or Berberis buxifolia, common name the Magellan Barberry, in Spanish Calafate, is an evergreen shrub, with shiny box-like leaves. The Calafate is native to the south of Argentina and Chile and is a symbol of Patagonia.

The bush grows to a height of 1 - 1.5 m. It has many arching branches, each covered in many tripartite spines. The bush has many small yellow flowers in summer. Its edible blue-black berries are harvested for jams, but are eaten fresh too - a legend tells that anyone who eats a Calafate berry will be certain to return to Patagonia.

The Calafate is grown commercially for its fruit, potential medical uses and as a garden plant or bonsai. Its wood is used to make a red dye. The cultivar Berberis microphylla 'Nana' is widely available as a garden shrub, and is also used in commercial plantings as a low spiny hedge to discourage intruders, but it does not fruit.

External links

Calafate at Flora Chilena

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Berberis buxifolia

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