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 loropetalus Franch.
Rubus nutans fockeanus (Kurz) Kuntze
Rubus radicans Focke
Rubus fockeanus is a low-growing, evergreen shrub with creeping, unarmed stems that form roots at almost every joint. The plant forms a mat of growth up to 20cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is occasionally grown as an ornamental in gardens.
E. Asia - southern China, northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar
Grassy slopes, forests; at elevations from 2,000 - 4,000 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
]. Prefers a sheltered semi-shady position[
Unlike most Rubus species, this is a slow-growing plant, forming a slowly-spreading mat of growth.
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A red, globose fruit[
Seed - requires stratification, is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Sow stored seed as early as possible in the year in a cold frame and stratify for a month at 3°c if sowing later than late winter. 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. Very easy, the plants can be divided successfully at almost any time of the year. 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.