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 althaeoides Hance
Rubus arisanensis Hayata
Rubus involucratus Focke
Rubus kerriifolius H.Lév. & Vaniot
Rubus oliveri Miq.
Rubus otophorus Franch.
Rubus shinkoensis Hayata
Rubus suishaensis Hayata
Rubus suishanensis Hayata
Rubus vaniotii H.Lév.
Rubus villosus Thunb.
Rubus corchorifolius is a deciduous shrub producing each year a cluster of erect, prickly, biennial stems from a woody rootstock; the stems can grow 100 - 300cm tall[
]. The stems only produce leaves in their first year of growth, forming flower and leaf-bearing branches in their second year and dying after fruiting. The plant spreads freely by means of underground suckers, forming a thicket of growth[
The plant is commonly harvested from the wild for local use as a food and is also used as a medicine. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam.
Sunny slopes, streamsides, montane valleys, thickets and waste places; at elevations from 200 - 2,600 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
An aggressive plant, it spreads vigorously but may be of value in the wild garden[
]. Succeeds in a woodland garden[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A delicious vinous flavour[
]. The fresh fruit are used for making jam, drinks, and wine[
]. The subglobose red fruits are up to 12mm in diameter[
The fruit, seeds, and roots are used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and stomach aches[
The whole plant contains various medicinally active compounds that have cytotoxic properties and are of potential use in the treatment of cancer[
The plant also contains an essential oil that has been shown to have antioxidant activity[
Most, if not all, thicket-forming species of Rubus have good erosion control value. They usually grow satisfactorily on barren and infertile soils and invade and occupy eroded areas. They also establish quickly on burns, old fields, and logged areas. Forming extensive and nearly impenetrable thickets, they can provide excellent cover for wildlife as well as nesting sites for small birds. They are often natural pioneer species, paving the way for woodlands to develop, but they should only really be used within their native range in order to avoid any risks of them invading other habitats[
The fruits have a delicious sweet-sour fruit flavour and, on this account, have been used since 1987 in breeding programmes in China[
The stems and roots are a source of tannin[
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[