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 pileatus canotomentosus Focke
Rubus lasiostylus is a deciduous shrub producing each year a cluster of erect, prickly, biennial stems from a woody rootstock; the stems can be up to 200cm 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. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens, valued especially for its white stems[
E. Asia - central southern China (Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan).
Slopes, thickets, forests in valleys, forest margins, roadsides; at elevations from 1,000 - 3,000 metres[
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. An agreeable acid taste[
]. A raspberry-type fruit[
]. The red, globose fruit is around 15 - 20mm in diameter[
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[