Rubus arcticus stellatus
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[
Manteia stellata (Sm.) Raf.
Rubus stellatus Sm.
Common Name: Nagoon Berry
Rubus arcticus stellatus 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 up to 16cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
E. Asia - Russian Far East; Northern N. America - Alaska , Yukon, Northwest Territiroes, British Colombia
Alpine stream banks and meadows, lake shores; at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
]. Peaty soil, thickets and tundra[
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Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
This plant is smaller than Rubus arcticus and has smaller fruits[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The reddish to dark purple, globose fruits are up to 10mm in diameter[
Used by Rubus breeders for crossings with Rubus arcticus to produce the 'Alaska Berry'[
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.