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 Rubus subsp. var.  
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Rosaceae > Rubus var. ,

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Rubus is a large genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, subfamily Rosoideae. Raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries are common, widely distributed members of the genus. Most of these plants have woody stems with prickles like roses; spines, bristles, and gland-tipped hairs are also common in the genus. The Rubus fruit, sometimes called a bramble fruit, is an aggregate of drupelets.

The blackberries, as well as various other Rubus species with mounding or rambling growth habits, are often called brambles. However, this name is not used for those like the raspberry that grow as upright canes, or for trailing or prostrate species such as most dewberries, or various low-growing boreal, arctic, or alpine species.

The genus Rubus is believed to have existed since at least 23.7 to 36.6 million years ago.[1] Examples of the hundreds, if not thousands, of species of Rubus include:

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Rubus (Latin name, ultimately connected with ruber, red). Including Bossekia, Rubacer, Oreobatus, Batidaea, and others, but excluding Dalibarda. Rosaceae-. Bramble. Blackberries, Dewberries, Raspberries, and Thimbleberries. Low and diffuse mostly woody plants, usually producing canes, grown for the edible fruits, some of the species for ground-cover, and others for the more or less ornamental character of habit, foliage, and bloom.

Trailing, decumbent, ascending, or erect plants, the tips of long growths usually recurving even if otherwise erect, glabrous, hairy or variously glandular, mostly thorny or prickly: sts. usually short-lived and pithy (sometimes semi-herbaceous): lvs. simple or compound, alternate, the compounding on the pinnate order and the leaflets largely 3 (several in many of the tropical and oriental species) : fls. mostly white or rose- colored, usually in corymbs or racemes but sometimes solitary; calyx 5-parted (rarely 3-5-parted), the lobes persistent; petals 5, usually obovate; stamens many, inserted on the torus-rim; pistils many (or sometimes few), closely packed on the torus, usually becoming drupelets but sometimes dry when ripe, the style nearly terminal.—A most variable and perplexing genus, containing perhaps 400 fairly well-marked species and numberless intermediate forms. More than 3,000 species-names have been applied. The genus is particularly strong in Europe, where great numbers of specific names have been made (see Weihe & Nees, Rubi Germanici, 1822-7; Focke, Synopsis Ruborum Germaniae, 1877; Babbington, British Rubi, 1869; Focke, in Ascherson & Graebner, Synopsis der Mittea-europaischen Flora, 1902; Rogers, Handbook of British Rubi, 1900, and many other publications). Focke in 1877 described 72 species inhabiting Germany. In 1902 he admitted 87 full species to the mid-European flora. There is also a large extension of the genus in the Himalayan region, about 50 species being recognized (J. D. Hooker admits 41 species in the Flora of British India). The species extend eastward into China and Japan. Hemsley, in his Flora of China, admits 41 species. In Japan, Franchet and Savatier admit 22 species. In the North American Flora, Rydberg admits 112 species, in 1913, counting those in Mexico and southward and excluding certain species that are referred to other genera. Students of the American forms should consult the recent writings of Blanchard, Brainerd, Bicknell, and Rydberg. There is no agreement as to the number of species in N. Amer, or elsewhere, and recently other genera have been segregated. Rubus is widely distributed in the northern hemisphere, particularly in temperate and warm-temperate parts. Some of the species are alpine and arctic. In tropical climates the genus is relatively poorly represented. Oliver admits only 4 in the Flora of Tropical Africa. Only 2 species are described in Grisebach's Flora of the British West Indies. Baker admits 3 species in the Flora of Mauritius and the Seychelles. Hillebrand describes 3 species in Flora of the Hawaiian Islands. The southern hemisphere has few species. Bentham's Flora Australiensis has but 5 species. Cheeseman's Manual of the New Zealand Flora mentions only 4 indigenous species. There are also 5 species described in Harvey and Sonder's work (Flora Capensis) on the flora of the Cape of Good Hope region. In his Species Ruborum (Bibl. Bot. parts 72 and 83. 1910-14), Focke describes 429 or more species from all around the world.

The genus Rubus tempts the species-maker. The lines of demarcation are obscure or indefinite, the variables are numberless, the botanical characters differ widely on old and young canes and even on spring and autumn foliage of the same cane, and the plants respond readily to conditions. There are marked shade- forms and sun-forms, moisture-forms and dry-land forms, apparently only environmental modifications of prevailing types. The tendency, therefore, on the one hand is to recognize a very few stem-types as species (Bentham reduced all the British rubi of the blackberry type to one species, R. fruticosus), and on the other hand to make species of the marked departures (Rogers makes more than 100 species and many varieties of the "Rubi fruticosi" of Britain). The herbarium usually provides few checks; the student needs constantly to supplement his specimens with careful observations in the field under many varying conditions, if he is to arrive at an independent judgment on the group. We do not yet know how far the older herbarium definition corresponds with phylogenetic facts. There is indication that rubi hybridize freely, particularly in the blackberry group, and artificial hybrids are produced easily; but to assume hybridity from the herbarium specimen alone is inconclusive, particularly when we have now learned that intermediateness is not a proof of hybridity and that hybrids may even show little departure from one or the other parent. If to the variableness of plants in the wild is to be added the variation under cultivation, the difficulties are intensified if one endeavors to name and separate very closely; and if very many species are to be made, then it may be practically impossible to identify the horticultural forms with any of the minutely defined wild species. This difficulty is likely to be little taken into account in the usual study of wild material, and yet it is an obligation of the systematist to serve the horticulturist ; it would be a pity if the feral and domesticated forms were not studied harmoniously. If one is to abandon the older practice of describing the main stem- types, then the logical procedure is to name and describe all the marked forms with a Latin name. This procedure, however, relegates the group to the knowledge of the close specialist and confuses the subject for others. Whether in certain groups of Rubus, particularly in the blackberry or Eubatus section, we are dealing with a range of hybrids between relatively few species or whether we have a wide range of plastic material out of which marked forms and incipient species are developing by mutation or otherwise, is the question of primary importance to the systematic study of the genus. The long-established habit of species-making naturally leads to the assumption that specific types occur in all genera and that the variations are to be explained on the theory of intermediateness or aberrance; but this hypothesis is yet to be demonstrated. Of course, the difficulties in cultivated Eubatus are not insolvable by careful study in herbarium, garden, and field.

With these points of view before us, the reader will scarcely expect to find in this account an evaluation of all the species-names that have been given to American rubi in recent years. This task may be undertaken at another time, but it would be of little avail when considering merely the horticultural forms. In assembling the American cultivated blackberries into one group in the following account and the cultivated dewberries into another, it is not intended to pass on the merits, from the systematic point of view, of any of the several described species; but in the present state of the case, it is impossible to refer all cultivated forms to the species-names now current, nor is it the purpose of the Cyclopedia to describe all wild species. There is nopracticable alternative but to group the horticultural forms at least until such time as the subject is cleared up; and this is done under Nos. 60 and 61. The history of these domesticated groups affords little aid in determining botanical origins, both because the records are themselves imperfect and because the American species had not then been studied critically; the problem must therefore be worked out mostly as a current systematic study.

Rubus is closely allied to Rosa, from which it differs chiefly in the structure of the flower. In Rosa, the torus or hypanthium is hollow and contains the dry fruits or achenes. In Rubus the torus is convex, conical or elongated, and bears the mostly soft or pulpy fruits on its surface. Rubi are chiefly shrubs with stems (canes) that die after one or two years, but some of them have herbaceous tops. In raspberries and blackberries, the canes bear the second year and then die or become very weak. The fruit is an aggregate of carpels. The drupelets are usually more or less coherent at maturity, the collective body forming the "fruit" or "berry" of horticulturists. In the rasperries, the coherent drupelets separate from the torus at maturity, causing the berry to be hollow or concave on the under side. In the blackberries, the coherent drupelets adhere to the torus, which separates at maturity and forms the "core" of the berry. Usually the tops are not long-lived, and commercial plantations require frequent renewal.

The horticultural and controlled hybrids in Rubus are now many. Raspberry-blackberry crosses have been frequently effected, but they appear to have little popular interest. The illustration (Fig. 3486) shows a hybrid between Fontenay raspberry (R. idaeus) and "the common blackberry" of England as shown by Veitch at London in 1897 (G.C. Oct. 2, 1897, from which the illustration is reduced). The fruits were described as of a purplish black color with gray bloom, produced abundantly.

Relatively few of the rubi have horticultural merit, although some of them are of great importance. As pomological subjects they are more important in North America than elsewhere. Here are grown not only raspberries, which are popular elsewhere, but also great quantities of improved blackberries, a fruit that is less known as a regular cultivated product in other countries. Although the European raspberry, R. idaeus, is grown in North America, it is mostly unreliable, and the leading commercial sorts are produced from the native R. occidentals and R. strigosus and from hybrids of the two. Various Japanese species also produce fruits of value, but none of them has attained much importance in North America.

Numbers of the species are useful as ornamental subjects, particularly the Rocky Mountain R. deliciosus, the brier rose (R. rosaefolius var. coronarius), wineberry (R. phoenicolasius), and R. crataegifolius. For its graceful finely cut foliage, and sometimes for its fruit, R. laciniatus is frequently grown, particularly in the milder climates where it is practically an evergreen. Some of the unimproved wild species are offered by dealers in native plants as worthy subjects for free borders and rock-gardens. The beauty of most shrubby rubi depends largely on the removal of the canes after they have bloomed once. After flowering, the cane becomes weak or may die outright. It should be removed to the ground. In the meantime other canes have arisen from the root, and these will bloom the following year. That is, the stems of rubi are usually more or less perfectly biennial: the first year they make their growth in stature; the second year they throw out side branches on which the flowers are borne; after fruiting, the entire cane becomes weak or dies. Removing these canes not only contributes to conserve the vigor of the plant, but it also adds to its appearance of tidiness. These remarks apply particularly to the cultivation of raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries. For other accounts, see Blackberry, Dewberry, Himalaya Berry, Loganberry, Lowberry, and Raspberry, at their respective entries.

In recent years, many of the Chinese species of Rubus, mostly in the subgenera Malachobatus and Ideobatus, have been introduced to cultivation for ornament, some of them with promise of providing desirable edible fruits. Many of them make long vine- like canes and are excellent for training to posts, pillars, on pergolas and arbors. The foliage is often very ornamental and several of them have white or bluish white canes that render them useful for winter effect. Some of the species are evergreen. These oriental rubuses are known in cultivation mostly in England, but are being tested in this country, particularly at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston; at the latter place, none of the species has proved to be perfectly hardy. The following species have survived, although mostly much killed back each winter: R. flosculosus, R. Lambertianus, R. lasiostylus, R. Giraldianus, R. mesogaeus, R. innomi- natus, R. adenophorus; R. conduplicatus and R. teledapos stood the winter of 1915-16.

The species of Rubus require no special place or care in cultivation except to provide in a general way the conditions as to moisture and exposure under which the plants grow in the wild. They are plants of wide adaptability. Propagation is by dividing the clumps in some cases, but better by the use of the natural stolons; or if artificial practices must be employed, root-cuttings 2 or 3 inches long may be used for many species. They are grown readily from seeds.


adenophorus, 34.glaber, 19.pedatus, 3. albidus, 10.glandicaulis, 60.pergratus, 60. albus, 44.Gowreephul, 35.Phenomenal, 64. allegheniensis, 60.grandiflorus, 8, 49.philadelphicus, 60. amabilis, 51.grandifolius, 10.phoenicolasius, 33. americanus, 2.Henryi, 12.pictus, 24. amicalis, 60.Himalaya berry, 56.Playfairianus, 13. amnicolus, 60.hispidus, 62.Playfairii, 13. Andrewsianus, 60.humifusus, 61.polytrichus, 7. anomalus, 44.hupehensis, 15.Potaninii, 5. arcticus, 1.ichangensis, 17.procumbens, 61. arenicolus, 61.idaeus, 43, 44.pubescens, 2. argutus, 60.illecebrosus, 49.quinqueflorus, 38. arundelanus, 60.incisus, 31.Randii, 60. Baileyanus, 61.innominatus, 40.recurvans, 60. bambusarum, 12.invisus, 61.reflexus, 24. bellidiflorus, 58.irenaeus, 20.Roezlii, 9. betulifolius, 60.Koehneanus, 31.roribaccus, 61. biflorus, 38.Kuntzeanus, 40.rosaefolius, 48. Brainerdii, 60.lacer, 11.rosaeflorus, 48. canadensis, 60.laciniatus, 59.Rossbergianus, 60. carolinianus, 44.Lambertianus, 19.sagatus, 34. Chamaemorus, 1.lasiostylus, 57.satirus, 60. chroosepalus, 16.leucodermis, 47.Savatieri, 28. clemens, 21.Linkianus, 57.sempervirens, 62. columbianus, 10.Loganberry, 64.simplex, 6. conduplicatus, 30.lucidus, 60.sinensis, 48. corchorifolius, 25.macilentus, 36.sorbifolius, 49. coreanus, 50.macropetalus, 65.spectabilis, 32, 57. coronarius, 48.malifolius, 14.stellatus, 4. crataegifolius, 27, 28.Mammoth, 64.Strawberry-raspberry, 49. cuneifolius, 60.Menziesii, 32.strigosus, 44. deliciosus, 9.mesogaeus, 42.Swinhoii, 15. dumetorum, 66.microphyllus, 26.teledapos, 41. Egglestonii, 44.Millspaughii, 60.thibetanus, 53. elegantulus, 60.moluccanus, 23.thyrsanthus, 56. ellipticus, 35.morifolius, 28, 31.trianthus, 29. Enslenii, 61.myriacanthus, 65.tricolor, 7. eugenius, 17.neglectus, 45.trifidus, 8. flngelliflorus, 22.nigrobaccus, 60.triflorus, 2. flagelliformis, 22.niveus, 54.trivialis, 63. flavus, 35.nutkanus, 11.ulmifolius, 58. floribundus, 48.obovalis, 62.ursinus, 64. floricomus, 60.occidentalis, 46, 47.Veitchii, 53. floridus, 60.odoratus, 10.villosus, 61. flosculosus, 52.omeiensis, 21.vitifolius, 64. franciscanus, 32.orarius, 60.vulgaris, 59. frondosus, 60.pallidus, 46.Wilsonii, 39. fruticosus, 57, 58, 59.palmatus, 26.xanthocarpus, 5. geophilus, 61.Parkeri, 18. Giraldianus, 55.parviflorus, 11.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



Pests and diseases


The classification presented below[citation needed] recognizes 13 subgenera within Rubus, with the largest subgenus (Rubus) in turn divided into 12 sections. Representative examples are presented, but there are many more species not mentioned here.

A sign near this bush labeled it as Rubus calycinoides, i.e. Rubus hayata-koidzumii
Leaves, R. idaeus



  1. Rosales

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