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[
Common Name: Hybrid Berries
Rubus species is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 3.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
A range of garden hybrids.
Not known in the wild.
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil[
]. Succeeds in acid and calcareous soils[
]. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade[
], though it fruits less well in the shade[
]. Established plants are drought resistant[
Hardy to about -15°c[
This species has biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
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. This plant is a cultivar and will not breed true from seed.
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[
]. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions.