Rubus (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919
Rubus (Sturtevant, 1919)

Rubus arcticus Linn.


Northern and arctic regions. This species, says Loudon, has a highly flavored fruit. In Lapland, its fruit is valued and is extolled by Linnaeus. In northern Scandinavia, the fruit is delicious, having the aroma of the pineapple. It affords in Labrador, says Pursh, amber-colored, very delicious fruit. In Alaska, the berries are eaten. The western Eskimo, according to Seemann, use the berries of this species as a winter food. They are collected in autumn and frozen.

Rubus biflorus Buch.-Ham.

India and Himalayas up to 10,000 feet. The fruit is either red or orange.

Rubus borbonicus Pers.

The fruit is like that of R. caesius Linn.

Rubus buergeri Miq.

Japan. In Japan, this species furnishes edible fruit.

Rubus caesius Linn.


Europe, Orient and northern Asia. The fruit is small, says Loudon, with few grains but these are large, juicy, black, with a fine, glaucous bloom and are very agreeably acid. By some it is preferred for cultivation on account of its fruit. Johnson says the berries are far superior in flavor to the ordinary bramble.

Rubus canadensis Linn.


Eastern North America. This trailing plant often furnishes a fine fruit, which is generally preferred to that of other blackberries. The fruit varies from half an inch to an inch in diameter and is very sweet and juicy, high-flavored and excellent.

Rubus chamaemorus Linn.


Northern and arctic climates. The fruit is large, yellow or amber-colored, sweet and juicy. Geo. Lawson says it is brought abundantly to the Halifax markets. This species furnishes winter food to the western Eskimos, who collect the berries in autumn and preserve them by freezing. The fruit is also preserved by the Indians of Alaska. The Swedes and Norwegians preserve great quantities of the fruit in the autumn to make tarts and other confections, and, in Sweden, vinegar is made by fermenting the berries. The Laplanders preserve the berries by burying them in the snow.

Rubus corchorifolius Linn. f.

Japan. The fruit is edible, according to Kinch. The species furnishes an edible fruit.

Rubus crataegifolius Bunge.

China. This species is said in Transon's Trade Catalogue of 1880-81 to have been introduced into France from Manchuria some years ago. In July it gives a great quantity of transparent, scarlet fruits, the taste of which is sugary and agreeable.

Rubus cuneifolius Pursh.


Long Island to Florida. Pursh says the berries are hard and dry; Elliott, that they are juicy and eatable; Wood, that they are black, juicy and well-flavored; Gray calls them well-flavored; Fuller says the fruit is of medium size, good flavor, black and ripens late.

Rubus deliciosus Torr.


Western North America. The fruit is delicious, according to Torrey. In Colorado, it is a fine fruit of peculiar flavor.

Rubus fruticosus Linn.


Europe, north and south Africa, middle and northern Asia. The fruits in some parts of England are called bumblekites and in others scaldberries and have been eaten by children, says Loudon, in every country where they grow wild since the time of Pliny. The fruit, says Johnson, is wholesome and pleasant. The berries are sometimes fermented into a wine of very indifferent quality and, abroad, are sometimes used for coloring more generous liquor. The Red Muscat wine of Toulon owes its tint to the juice of blackberries. In China, the berries are gathered and eaten.

Rubus geoides Sm.

Magellan, Falkland Islands, Fuego, Patagonia and Chiloe. This species is a raspberry-like plant, with greenish-yellow fruits resembling the cloudberry and is of a very agreeable taste.

Rubus gunnianus Hook.

Tasmania. The fruit is red and juicy but not always well-developed.

Rubus hawaiensis A. Gray.

Sandwich Islands. The fruit is ovoid, half an inch in length and breadth, red and edible.

Rubus hispidus Linn.


Northern America. The fruit consists of a few large grains, red or purple, and sour. The fruit is quite good tasting but is not worth picking in the presence of better varieties.

Rubus idaeus Linn.


Europe, Orient and northern Asia and thrives as far north as 70° in Scandinavia. This species furnishes the European varieties of the cultivated raspberry and those cultivated in American gardens prior to about 1866. This species is now occasionally found wild, as an escape, in Vermont and Connecticut. The fruit of the wild plant is crimson or amber-colored; this is the raspberry of European gardens. According to Unger, this species is mentioned by Palladius as a cultivated plant. Unger says further that "there are now varieties grown with red fruit, yellow fruit and white fruit and those which bear twice in the year." The fruit of this berry has been found in the debris of the lake villages of Switzerland. In 1867, Fuller describes 41 varieties known to American gardens and 23 which are from native American species. As types of this class of cultivated fruit, we may mention the Antwerp, brought to this country about 1820; the Franconia, introduced from France about 1850; Brinckle's Orange, originated in Pennsylvania in 1845, and Clarke, raised from seed at New Haven, Connecticut, in 1856.

Rubus imperialis Cham. et Schlecht.

Brazil. The fruit is edible.

Rubus incisus Thunb.

China and Japan. The fruit is small, bluish-black and of no great merit. Country people hold the berries in great esteem.

Rubus jamaicensis Linn.

Tropical America. The berries are black and very agreeable. If pickled when red and unripe, they make an excellent tart.

Rubus laciniatus Willd.


This species has been sparingly cultivated in Europe for many years and in this country since 1845. It is scarcely worth growing, says Fuller, except as a curiosity, but others say the fruit is large and juicy and that this plant is worthy a place in the garden.

Rubus lasiocarpus Sm.


India. This species is cultivated in India for its fruits, which are of excellent flavor and are used in tarts, according to Pirminger. Brandis says the fruit is very good to eat, and Royle says that it is called kulanchoo and affords a grateful fruit.

Rubus leucodermis Dougl.

Northwest America. The fruit is yellowish-red, rather large, with a white bloom and agreeable flavor and is dried and preserved by the natives. In Utah, the fruit surpasses the common black raspberry in flavor, size of berry and productiveness. In Oregon, the berry is large, borne in great abundance, of excellent flavor but rather soft for market purposes.

Rubus microphyllus Linn. f.

Japan. The fruit is yellow, esculent and sapid.

Rubus morifolius Siebold.

Japan. This species bears large black raspberries of excellent quality.

Rubus nessensis W. Hall.

Northern Europe. Loudon says the fruit consists of a small number of dark red, or blood-colored, aggregate grains, said to be agreeably acid, with some flavor of the raspberry, whence it has been recommended by some as perhaps not unworthy of cultivation.

Rubus nutkanus Moc.


Alaska and Oregon. The fruit is red, large, hemispherical, sweet and pleasantly flavored. The fruit is dried and eaten by the Indians. The tender shoots are also eaten. In the season, canoe loads may be seen on their way to Indian villages. In Oregon, the berry is considered of excellent quality but is too small to pay for the trouble of gathering.

Rubus occidentalis Linn.


Eastern North America. Wood says the fruit is of a lively, agreeable taste. It is an inferior fruit, says Emerson, but has been improved by cultivation. Downing says this berry is frequently cultivated in gardens, where its fruit is much larger and finer than in the uncultivated state, and its rich, acid flavor renders it, perhaps, the finest sort for kitchen use. In its wild state, says Fuller, this species is most variable; he describes wild fruit in cultivation as pale or deep yellow, black, reddishpurple, light crimson or dark scarlet. He refers to this species, wild plants and seedlings, 12 varieties of blackcaps and 5 purple-canes. Downing describes a white variety.

Rubus odoratus Linn.


Eastern North America. This species is found cultivated in ornamental shrubberies, but it seldom bears an edible fruit in New England. Emerson, however, says the fruit is flatfish, red, pleasant, though less agreeable than that of the true raspberry. Pursh says, in a wild state, the fruit is yellow and of a very fine flavor and of large size. It is not considered, however, by Downing or Fuller as a fruit-shrub. Specimens with white and pink flowers occur about Cayuga Lake, N. Y.

Rubus paniculatus Sm.

Himalayan region. The fruit is eaten by the natives of Viti and is made into puddings and pies by the whites.

Rubus parvifolius Linn.


Malay, Australia and China. This species fruited in England in 1825. The fruit was small, of a clear and brilliant pink color, very juicy, with a subacid, extremely pleasant flavor, but the grains were few, large and pointed.

Rubus pedatus Sm.

Western North America. The small, red berry has an excellent flavor and is eaten by the natives of Alaska.

Rubus phoenicolasius Maxim.


Japan. The fruit is concealed by the sepals until ripe. At first white, the berry turns bright red and is of a sweet and delicious flavor, between that of the common red and the blackcap.

Rubus rosaefolius Sm.


Tropical Asia. In India, this shrub bears a fruit similar to the common raspberry but the berry is filled with hard seeds and is of rather a poor taste. The fruit is red when ripe.

Rubus saxatilis Linn.


North temperate and arctic regions. The fruits, says Lightfoot, are very acid alone but eaten with sugar they make an agreeable dessert. The Russians ferment the fruit with sugar and extract a potent spirit. Johnson says the berries are more acid and agreeable to the taste than those of the European blackberry.

Rubus sellowii Cham. & Schlecht.

Argentina and Brazil. The fruit is edible.

Rubus spectabilis Pursh.


Northwest America. The yellow fruits, says Loudon, are of an acid and somewhat astringent taste and make excellent tarts. The young shoots, as well as the berries, are eaten by the Indians, the former being tied in bundles and steamed over the fire. There are said to be two forms in Oregon: one rather soft, yellow, somewhat insipid, subacid, about one inch in diameter when expanded; the other with red berries of a firmer texture and more acid, a shy bearer.

Rubus strigosus Michx.


Northern America. In 1607, the Frenchmen of L'Escarbot's expedition "amused themselves with gathering raspberries." It is among the wild fruits of Massachusetts mentioned by Edward Winslow in 1621. Its fruits were greatly relished by the Indians wherever they were to be found. The fruits of the wild plants vary much in color from a dark red to a light, bright crimson. The fruits are large or small. In northern Iowa, a chance wilding, called the Elisdale, bears a very large, bright red berry, with light bloom and is very sweet and rich. Fuller, in 1867, mentions six varieties as under cultivation.

Rubus tagallus Cham. et Schlecht.

China and Island of Luzon. The red fruit is eatable.

Rubus thunbergii Sieb. & Zucc.

Japan. This species furnishes edible fruit.

Rubus tokkura Siebold.

Japan. The fruit is small, red and consists of but few drupes. It is not of much value but is utilized as an article of food in Japan.

Rubus trifidus Thunb.

Japan. The red fruit is of a grateful taste.

Rubus triflorus Richards.


New England to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and northward. The fruit is eaten in Colorado.

Rubus trivialis Michx.


Maryland to Florida. Elliott says the berries are large, black and well-flavored.

Rubus ursinus Cham. & Schlecht.


Northwest America. This species has been introduced into cultivation in California. The berries, in Oregon, are of medium size, solid and highly flavored, ripening in July. In the season, large quantities are collected for market. The fruit varies considerably. Sometimes it is large and highly flavored, almost sweet; at other times it is large but sour or rather insipid.

Rubus villosus Ait.


Eastern North America. This species varies much in its fruit and several of the cultivated varieties are chance seedlings taken from the field: such as the Kittatinny, found growing wild in New Jersey about 1845; New Rochelle, found in New York; Newman's Thornless, also in New York; and Wilson's Early, discovered in New Jersey about 1854. In 1867, Fuller describes 18 sorts in cultivation. There is a variety cultivated abroad, says Downing, with white fruits. The commencement of the cultivation of improved varieties seems to date from the appearance of the Dorchester, first exhibited at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 1841. The fruit is highly esteemed by the Indians of Missouri, Texas, California and Minnesota. Cabeza de Vaca, 1528-35, says the Indians of the Southwest eat blackberries during four months of the year. Eight varieties, in 1879, were cataloged by the American Pomological Society as worthy of cultivation.