Rubus L.
Sp.Pl. 2:492 (1753)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Rubus L.

Scientific Description
Amanda Spooner, Thursday 8 September 2016

Common name. Blackberry, Dewberry, Loganberry, Raspberry, Cloudberry, Wineberry. Family Rosaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Trailing, climbing shrubs, or lianas (rarely), or herbaceous climbers (rarely); evergreen, or deciduous. Plants stems, inflorescence branches, petioles, and calyx lobes prickly, or unarmed (rarely). The spines axial. Perennial. Leaves rarely basal, or cauline. Plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Climbing, or self supporting; scrambling. Leptocaul. Mesophytic. Not heterophyllous. Leaves medium-sized; not fasciculate; alternate; spiral; not decurrent on the stems; ‘herbaceous’; not imbricate; petiolate. Petioles wingless. Leaves non-sheathing; simple, or compound (leaves on primocanes compound, those on floricanes compound or simple); epulvinate; ternate, or pinnate, or palmate, or bipinnate, or multiply compound. Leaves pinnately trifoliolate. Leaves imparipinnate. Leaflets 3, or 5, or 7, or 9 (rarely); 1–10 cm long. Lateral leaflets opposite. Leaflets not stipellate; epulvinate; elliptic, or oblong, or rhombic, or ovate, or obovate, or orbicular; cordate, or cuneate at the base, or oblique at the base, or rounded at the base; flat; occasionally with conspicuous lateral lobes. Leaflet margins flat. Leaf blades usually dissected; flat; ovate, or orbicular; pinnatifid, or palmately lobed; pinnately veined; cross-venulate; cordate, or rounded at the base. Mature leaf blades adaxially glabrous, or pilose; abaxially glabrous, or pilose, or pubescent, or woolly. Leaves with stipules, or without stipules (rarely). Stipules intrapetiolar; adnate to the petiole (those of basal leaves adnate for their entire length forming membraneous wings, those of cauline leaves basally adnate); free of one another; leafy; caducous, or persistent. Leaf blade margins serrate, or dentate; not prickly; flat. Vegetative buds scaly. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Domatia recorded, or not recorded. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present; glandular hairs present. Unicellular hairs present. Complex hairs present. Branched hairs present. Complex hairs stellate. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite, or functionally male, or functionally female. Unisexual flowers present, or absent. Plants hermaphrodite, or dioecious. Plants not viviparous; homostylous. Floral nectaries present. Entomophilous; via hymenoptera.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; not crowded at the stem bases; terminal, or axillary. Inflorescence few-flowered, or many-flowered. Flowers in cymes, or in racemes, or in panicles. Inflorescences simple, or compound. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; ascending, or pendent; occurring on the second year axillary canes called 'floricanes'; with involucral bracts. Flowers pedicellate. Pedicels terete. Flowers medium-sized; regular; 5 merous. Floral receptacle not markedly hollowed. Free hypanthium present; flat or saucer-shaped; not extending beyond ovary. Hypogynous disk absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla, or sepaline; 5–10(–18); 1–2(–3) -whorled; isomerous, or anisomerous (rarely). Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; polysepalous, or gamosepalous; lobulate (elongate). Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx segments entire, or divided. Calyx spreading; hairy; imbricate; exceeded by the corolla, or more or less equalling the corolla, or exceeding the corolla; regular; green, or white, or pink (at base); non-fleshy; persistent. Sepals ovate, or triangular (elongated), or orbicular. Calyx lobes ovate. Corolla present, or absent; 5, or 9–13 (rarely); 1 -whorled, or 2 -whorled (rarely); polypetalous; imbricate; regular; hairy abaxially, or glabrous abaxially; hairy adaxially, or glabrous adaxially; plain; white, or pink; deciduous. Petals elliptic, or ovate, or obovate, or orbicular; slightly clawed, or sessile; not hooded; not navicular. Corolla members bilobed, or entire. Androecium present. Androecial members indefinite in number. Androecium 100. Androecial members free of the perianth; markedly unequal; free of one another; to 15 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes. Staminodes 50. Stamens 100; attached on the rim of the hypanthium; all more or less similar in shape; polystemonous; alternisepalous, or oppositisepalous; both opposite and alternating with the corolla members; inflexed in bud. Filaments not geniculate; hairy, or glabrous; filiform, or strap-shaped. Anthers all alike; dorsifixed, or basifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium 2–100 carpelled. Carpels increased in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium apocarpous; eu-apocarpous; superior. Carpel stylate; apically stigmatic. Style straight. Carpel 2 ovuled. Placentation apical. Gynoecium transverse. Styles simple; not becoming exserted; persistent, or deciduous; hairy, or hairless. Styles straight in bud. Stigmas clavate, or capitate (or discoid or 2-lobed). Ovules funicled; pendulous; collateral, or superposed; non-arillate; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit 9–26 mm long; falling from the plant before the next growing season; fleshy; yellow, or red, or black; hairy, or not hairy; an aggregate. The fruiting carpel indehiscent; drupaceous. Fruit 1 celled. Endocarp ribbed (but rugose or lacunose). Dispersal unit the fruit. Dispersal by animals and birds; by water down creeks especially during floods. Fruit 50 seeded. Seeds 1 per locule. Seeds rarely endospermic, or non-endospermic; not compressed (reniform to ovoid); minute, or small. Cotyledons 2. Testa hard (thin); homogeneous in colour.

Physiology, biochemistry. Nitrogen-fixing root nodules absent, or present.

Geography, cytology, number of species. World distribution: temperate regions, mainly in the Northern Hemisphere but extending to higher altitudes in the tropics; in Australia native from north Queensland to Tasmania. Native of Australia, or adventive. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, or South Australia, or Queensland, or New South Wales, or Victoria, or Australian Capital Territory, or Tasmania. South-West Botanical Province. X=7; ploidy levels recorded up to 14. A genus of 250 species (plus an unknown number of apomictic lines); 6 species in Western Australia; Rubus anglocandicans A.Newton, Rubus laudatus A.Berger, Rubus loganobaccus L.H.Bailey, Rubus parviflorus Nutt., Rubus rugosus Sm., Rubus ulmifolius Schott; 0 endemic to Western Australia.

Economic uses, etc. Edible fruits used in wine-making, liqueurs, vinegars, teas, jams, pies, sweets.

Etymology. From the Latin rubrum meaning "red".

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, Judy; Marchant, Neville; Lewington, Margaret; Graham, Lorraine (2002). Flora of the south west, Bunbury, Augusta, Denmark. Volume 2, dicotyledons. Australian Biological Resources Study. Canberra.
  • Grieve, B. J.; Blackall, W. E. (1998). How to know Western Australian wildflowers : a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part II, Dicotyledons (Amaranthaceae to Lythraceae). University of W.A. Press. Nedlands, W.A.
  • Marchant, N. G.; Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Bennett, E. M.; Lander, N. S.; Macfarlane, T. D.; Western Australian Herbarium (1987). Flora of the Perth region. Part one. Western Australian Herbarium. Perth.