Botanical descriptionIn its first year, a new stem, the primocane, grows vigorously to its full length of 3?6 m (in some cases, up to 9 m), arching or trailing along the ground and bearing large palmately compound leaves with five or seven leaflets; it does not produce any flowers. In its second year, the cane becomes a floricane and the stem does not grow longer, but the lateral buds break to produce flowering laterals (which have smaller leaves with three or five leaflets). First and second year shoots usually have numerous short curved very sharp prickles that are often erroneously called thorns. Flowers are produced in late spring and early summer on short racemes on the tips of the flowering laterals. Each flower is about 2?3 cm in diameter with five white or pale pink petals. In botanical terminology, the fruit is not a berry, but an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets.
Plants are spread by seed deposited in the droppings of birds and mammals. They often spring up in burnt-over, logged or abandoned land and make an excellent pioneer species, creating the right conditions for woodland trees to move in. The trees will often grow in the middle of a clump of blackberries, the prickly stems protecting them from rabbits.
R. fruticosus naturally forms a dense thicket of thorny woody canes making it ideal for edible hedging.
The fruit is eaten by birds.
Some species of birds will happily nest within a bramble thicket.
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.
Late summer in a frame.
Hardy to at least -18°c. R. fruticosus is an aggregate species made up of several hundred slightly differing species. The reason for this is that most seed is produced by a non-sexual method (Apomixis) and is therefore genetically identical to the parent plant. On occasions when sexual production of seed takes place the offspring will all be slightly different from the parent plant and will then usually reproduce as a new species by means of apomixy. Modern treatment of this aggregate usually does not use the name R. fruticosus because of the confusion over which species it should apply to, the type species of the aggregate should be called R. ulmifolius. The following members of the aggregate have been highly recommended for their fruit. R. badius. R. cyclophorus. R. gratus. R. nemoralis. R. oxyanchus. R. pyramidalis. R. separinus. R. winteri. The following members are said to be nearly as good. R. balfourianus. R. broensis. R. carpinifolius. R. foliosus. R. fuscoviridis. R. infestus. R. insericatus newbouldianus. R. koehleri. R. largificus. R. londinensis. R. ludensis. R. macrophyllus. R. obscurus. R. pseudo-bifrons. R. rhombifolius. R. riddelsdellii. R. scaber. R. thyrsiflorus. R. vallisparsus. R. vestitus. Plants form dense thickets and this makes excellent cover for birds. They regenerate freely after being cut back. This species is also a good plant for bees and butterflies. 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.
R. fruticosus fruits abundantly in Summer and Autumn. The fruits soften and turn from green through red to deep as they ripen. When fully ripe they can be picked from the plant with almost no effort, and may fall to the ground if the plant is knocked. The fruits ripen successively, providing a continual harvest for a long period, but once ripened berries very quickly over-ripen and lose their sweetness.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Rubus fruticosus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Rubus fruticosus.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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