Berberis vulgaris L., also known as European barberry or simply Barberry, is a shrub in the genus Berberis. It produces edible but sharply acidic berries, which people in many countries eat as a tart and refreshing fruit.
Zereshk is the Persian name for the dried fruit of Berberis specially that of Berberis integerrima 'Bidaneh', which is widely cultivated in Iran. Iran is the largest producer of zereshk and saffran in the world. Zereshk and saffron are produced on the same land and the harvest is at the same time
The South Khorasan province in Iran is the main area of zereshk and saffron production in the world, especially around Birjand and Qaen. About 85% of production is in Qaen and about 15% in Birjand. There is evidence of cultivation of seed less barberry in South Khorasan two hundred years ago
The berries are edible and rich in vitamin C, though with a very sharp flavor; the thorny shrubs make harvesting them difficult, so in most places, they are not widely consumed. They are an important food for many small birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.
The barberry itself is used in the kitchen for cooking or as dried fruit.
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