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[
Rubus × asamensis Sugim.
Rubus ampelophyllus H.Lév.
Rubus corchorifolius crataegifolius (Bunge) Kuntze
Rubus corchorifolius wrightii (A.Gray) Kuntze
Rubus itoensis H.Lév. & Vaniot
Rubus makinoensis H.Lév. & Vaniot
Rubus minor Kuntze
Rubus morifolius Siebold ex Franch. & Sav.
Rubus ouensanensis H.Lév. & Vaniot
Rubus savatieri L.H.Bailey
Rubus takesimensis Nakai
Rubus wrightii A.Gray
Rubus crataegifolius is a deciduous shrub producing each year a cluster of erect, spiny, biennial stems from a woody rootstock; the stems can be up to 250cm tall. The stems only produce leaves, and do not flower, in their first year of growth, forming flowering branches in their second year and then dying after fruiting[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is occasionally cultivated as a fruit crop, especially in the USA and China[
], and is also sometimes grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its large leaves that can be up to 30cm wide[
E. Asia - Russian Far East, northern China, Japan, Korea.
Waste ground and clearings in mountains[
]. Sunny thickets on slopes, forest margins, ravines and roadsides; at elevations from 300 - 2,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
Occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there is at least one named variety. 'Jingu Jengal' is a high-yielding selection from Korea with larger fruits, up to 2g in weight[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The fruit is large and transparent, it is a raspberry with a sweet agreeable flavour[
]. A sweet-sour flavour[
]. The globose, dark red fruit is about 10mm in diameter[
The young shoots are cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
The leaves are used as a tonic for older people[
The plant (part not specified) has been shown to exert antiinflammatory and haemostatic effects and also to relax smooth muscles[
The plant is used in breeding programmes in Russia and some adjacent countries, where it is mainly used for obtaining erect and tall growth plus good resistance to frost[
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.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn.
Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn[