Rubus arcticus acaulis
A very variable species, it is sometimes treated as three distinct species, viz.:- Rubus arcticus, Rubus acaulis Michx., and Rubus stellatus Sm.[
The genus Rubus, (especially the blackberries, which are often loosely referred to as Rubus fruticosus agg.) presents some of the most difficult taxonomic problems. This is partly due to the frequency of polyploidy; also to the frequent occurrence of hybridization; and also due to apomixis, where minor differences between plants are preserved because seedlings are genetically identical to their parent. As a result, differences of opinion on the number of species to be recognized from a given region can vary tremendously (for example, a treatment by M. L. Fernald[
] in 1950 recognized 205 species for the northern half of the eastern United States plus parts of southeastern Canada, whilst H. A. Gleason and A. Cronquist in 1991 recognized only 25)[
]. Where possible, a relatively conservative approach is taken here[
Cylastis arcticus (L.) Raf. ex B.D.Jacks
Manteia acaulis (Michx.) Raf.
Rubus acaulis Michx.
Common Name: Dwarf Raspberry
Rubus arcticus acaulis is a herbaceous perennial with a long-creeping, branched, woody rhizome. Slender unbranched and unarmed, erect stems that are more or less woody at the bae, are produced at intervals, forming a mat of growth 5 - 20cm tall[
The plant is commonly harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine.
N. America - Alaska to Newfoundland, south to northern Colorado, Minnesota and Michigan
Muskegs, boggy woods, fens, bogs, swamps, thickets, moist tundra; at elevations up to 3,000 metres[
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Richly flavoured, it is similar to Rubus arcticus but with smaller and more numerous drupelets[
]. The reddish to dark purple, globose fruits are up to 10mm in diameter[
The leaves are astringent and have been used in the treatment of diarrhoea[
A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit[
Seed - requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year.
Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn[
]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.