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 nutans nepalensis Hook.f.
Rubus nutantiflorus H.Hara
Common Name: Nepalese Raspberry
Rubus nepalensis is a low-growing, evergreen shrub with creeping 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 sometimes grown as an ormanetal in gardens, where it can be used as a ground cover[
E. Asia - Himalayas of India and Nepal
Rocks, banks and shrubberies to 3300 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
]. Prefers a sheltered semi-shady position[
]. Plants survive considerable neglect, they can grow and spread in long grass though they do not fruit well in such a position[
]. Plants are not very drought tolerant[
The Nepalese raspberry is a very ornamental plant, though it loses some of its leaves in a cold winter and can look a little bedraggled at this time[
]. It is also unhappy in exposed maritime situations and in a sunny position in very hot summers.
A report that this species is not hardy in zones colder than 9 is very questionable, the plant has survived quite hard frosts with us in Cornwall and grows happily at Kew Gardens in London[
]. There is also a clump growing successfully in a sheltered position in the semi-shade of trees at Cambridge Botanical gardens, this fruited quite well in the summer of 1996[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A very well flavoured and reasonably sized raspberry with just a little sourness[
]. It generally fruits well in the garden, though there are some forms that produce very little fruit, or poorly shaped fruits[
An excellent ground-cover plant for a sunny or lightly shaded position[
], forming a quite effective weed-suppressing mulch[
A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the 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.