Raspberry Rubus idaeus, photographed by Enrico Romani.

Belongs within: Rosoideae.

Rubus is a large cosmopolitan genus of mostly thorny plants, many of them creepers or ramblers. Over 700 species have been described in the genus, but many are difficult to distinguish. Hybrids are common, while some species complexes include apomictic lineages. A number of species, such as the raspberry Rubus idaeus and the blackberries of the Rubus fruticosus group, are widely grown for their fruit. Species such as blackberries with a rambling growth habit are commonly known as brambles. New Zealand species of the genus are known as 'bush lawyers' due to their clinging thorns.

Characters (from Lu & Boufford): Shrubs or subshrubs, deciduous, rarely evergreen or semievergreen, sometimes perennial creeping dwarf herbs. Stems erect, climbing, arching, or prostrate, glabrous or hairy, usually with prickles or bristles, sometimes with glandular hairs, rarely unarmed. Leaves alternate, petiolate, simple, palmately or pinnately compound, divided or undivided, toothed, glabrous or hairy, sometimes with glandular hairs, bristles, or glands; stipules persistent, ± adnate to petiole basally, undivided or occasionally lobed, persistent or caducous, near base of petiole or at junction of stem and petiole, free, usually dissected, occasionally entire. Flowers bisexual, rarely unisexual and plants dioecious, in cymose panicles, racemes, or corymbs, or several in clusters or solitary. Calyx expanded, sometimes with a short, broad tube; sepals persistent, erect or reflexed, (4 or)5(–8). Petals usually 5, rarely more, occasionally absent, white, pink, or red, glabrous or hairy, margin entire, rarely premorse. Stamens numerous, sometimes few, inserted at mouth of hypanthium; filaments filiform; anthers didymous. Carpels many, rarely few, inserted on convex torus, each carpel becoming a drupelet or drupaceous achene; locule 1; ovules 2, only 1 developing, collateral, pendulous; style filiform, subterminal, glabrous or hairy; stigma simple, capitate. Drupelets or drupaceous achenes aggregated on semispherical, conical, or cylindrical torus, forming an aggregate fruit, separating from torus and aggregate hollow, or adnate to torus and falling with torus attached at maturity and aggregate solid; seed pendulous, testa membranous; cotyledons plano-convex.

Rubus Linnaeus 1753 A61
    |--R. allegheniensis RJ11
    |--R. amplior HH03
    |--R. argentifrons J87
    |--R. articus B95
    |--R. australis Forster 1786 [incl. R. australis var. glaber Hooker 1852] A61
    |--R. × barkeri Cockayne 1900 [R. cissoides × R. parvus] A61
    |--R. barkerianus J87
    |--R. bogotensis HH03
    |--R. boliviensis HH03
    |--R. brasiliensis HH03
    |--R. canescens H91
    |--R. chamaemorus EH03
    |--R. cissoides Cunn. 1839 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |--R. cortifolius BT87
    |--R. cuneifolius H06
    |--R. discolor [incl. R. procerus] H93
    |--R. eggersii J87
    |--R. ellipticus D07
    |--R. erythroclados HH03
    |--R. flagellaris H06
    |--R. floribundus HH03
    |--R. fragarioide O88
    |--R. fructicosus [incl. R. leucostachys, R. macrophyllus, R. rusticanus] C06
    |--R. geoides D03
    |--R. glaucifolius H93
    |--R. guyanensis HH03
    |--R. haitiensis J87
    |--R. hayata-koidzumii CP02
    |--R. herbaceus B95
    |--R. humistratus HH03
    |--R. idaeus H59
    |--R. imperialis HH03
    |--R. laciniatus H59
    |--R. lasiococcus H93
    |--R. leucodermis [incl. R. leucodermis var. bernardinus, R. leucodermis var. trinitatis] H93
    |--R. leyanus V09
    |--R. microspermus JD05
    |--R. nivalis H93
    |--R. palmatus S00
    |--R. parviflorus [incl. R. parviflorus var. velutinus] H93
    |--R. parvus Buchan. 1874 A61
    |--R. pensilvanicus [incl. R. almus] H93
    |--R. phoenicolasius H59
    |--R. × proteus H06
    |--R. rosifolius SWK87
    |--R. schiedeanus HH03
    |--R. schmidelioides Cunn. 1839 A61 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--R. s. var. schmidelioides A61
    |    `--R. s. var. subpauperatus (Cockayne) Allan 1961 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |--R. selleanus J87
    |--R. sellowii HH03
    |--R. spectabilis [incl. R. spectabilis var. franciscanus] H93
    |--R. squarrosus Fritsch 1886 [incl. R. cissoides var. pauperatus Kirk 1899] A61
    |--R. tomentosus BC01
    |--R. trichomallus HH03
    |--R. ulmifolius R-CT01
    |--R. ursinus [incl. R. vitifolius var. eastwoodianus, R. macropetalus, R. ursinus var. sirbenus, R. vitifolius] H93
    `--R. urticaefolius HH03

Rubus cissoides Cunn. 1839 [=R. australis var. cissoides (Cunn.) Hooker 1852; incl. R. australis var. glaber Kirk 1899 non Hooker 1852] A61

Rubus schmidelioides Cunn. 1839 A61 [=R. australis var. schmidelioides (Cunn.) Hooker 1852 A61; incl. R. cissoides var. coloratus Kirk 1899 A61, R. schmidelioides var. coloratus CA27]

Rubus schmidelioides var. subpauperatus (Cockayne) Allan 1961 [=R. subpauperatus Cockayne 1909, R. cissoides var. subpauperatus (Cockayne) Cheeseman 1925] A61

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[EH03] Eriksson, T., M. S. Hibbs, A. D. Yoder, C. F. Delwiche & M. J. Donoghue. 2003. The phylogeny of Rosoideae (Rosaceae) based on sequences of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA and the trnL/F region of chloroplast DNA. International Journal of Plant Science 164 (2): 197–211.

[H59] Healy, A. J. 1959. Contributions to a knowledge of the adventive flora of New Zealand, no. 7. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 86 (1): 113–118.

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Last updated: 25 November 2018.

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