Rubus rosifolius (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Rubus rosifolius J.E. Smith

Protologue: Pl. Icon. Hact. Ined. 3 : t. 60 (1791).


  • Rubus rosifolius J.E. Smith var. coronarius Sims (1816),
  • Rubus taiwanensis Matsum. (1902).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: beberetean (Sundanese), ujen-ujen (Javanese), gharunggung (Madurese)
  • Papua New Guinea: momitl (Mt Hagen, Western Highlands), wei (Nupuru, Eastern Highlands)
  • Philippines: sagmit, sapinit (Tagalog), init (Iloko)
  • Vietnam: ngấy lá hồng, dum lá hường


R. rosifolius occurs naturally in India, Indo-China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia (except Sumatra), Papua New Guinea and Australia. It is cultivated as an ornamental or for its fruit and naturalized throughout the tropics and warm temperate regions.


In the Philippines, a decoction of the roots is given as an expectorant, and a syrup of the fruit as a demulcent. In the western Highlands (Papua New Guinea), the leaves are externally applied to itches. In Indonesia, the leaves enter into various traditional prescriptions apparently for their astringent properties. In Java, the leaves are eaten raw or cooked as a side dish.


  • An erect or scrambling, rarely climbing shrub up to 1(-3) m tall, stems soft-hairy, glabrescent, with usually rather few curved to straight prickles.
  • Leaves imparipinnate up to 18 cm long, petiole 1-5.5 cm long, stipules linear, entire, persistent, leaflets in (1-)2-3(-4) opposite pairs, ovate to ovate-oblong, 2-6 cm × 1-2.5 cm, terminal leaflet up to 8 cm × 4 cm, base acute to cordate, apex acute to long tapering, margin biserrate.
  • Inflorescence with up to 4 dichasia in the axils of the upper leaves about 10 cm long, with up to 10 flowers.
  • Flowers bisexual, hypanthium saucer-shaped, 4-6.5 mm across, with scattered hairs and many glands outside, sepals ovate to narrowly triangular, 7-15(-22) mm × 2-5 mm, petals broadly ovate to ovate, 8-17 mm × 6-12 mm, white, falling early, stamens 60-140, pistils up to 600, ovaries with some apical hairs and usually many shortly stalked pale glands.
  • Collective fruit ovoid to globose or ellipsoid, up to 2.5 cm across, red, becoming loose from the torus as a whole.

R. rosifolius is found on various soils in open places such as clearings, forest edges, secondary forest and thickets, from sea-level up to 2000(-3000) m altitude. Garden forms exist with more than 5 petals in the flower, which resemble a small rose. They are usually called var. coronarius Sims. These plants may produce fruits and sometimes escape from cultivation.

Selected sources

407 Medicinals

  • Holdsworth, D.K., 1977. Medicinal plants of Papua New Guinea. Technical Paper No 175. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 123 pp.

, 810.


J.L.C.H. van Valkenburg

See Rubus (PROSEA Fruits)