FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME
Rubus phoenicolasius Maxim.
FAMILY NAME COMMON
FAMILY SCIENTIFIC NAME
Leaves and Fruit
Leaves and Flowers
Upper (green) and lower
side (white) of leaves
Close-up of Stem
Rubus phoenicolasius is a perennial that reaches 2 m (6.5 ft.) in height and has arching stems. The stems are densely hairy, and have a few slender prickles. These reddish-purple, glandular hairs measure 3-5 mm (0.1-0.2 in.) long. The petioles and inflorescences also have these hairs on them. The leaves are arranged alternately and each leaf is comprised of three leaflets. The terminal leaflet is broadly ovate in shape, with an acuminate apex and a rounded base. This leaflet measures 10 cm (4 in.) in length. The lateral leaflets are similar in shape, but much smaller in size. The upper leaf surface is pubescent and the lower leaf surface is densely white-tomentose, which is easily noticed when the leaves blow in the wind. The margins of the leaves are serrate. The flowers of Rubus phoenicolasius are arranged in many-flowered panicles. The petals are small, white, and narrowly ovate in shape. The sepals are hairy and longer than the petals, giving the flowers an "unopened" look. The flowers appear in late May to early June. The berries (clusters of drupelets) are juicy and bright, shiny red in color. They are about 1 cm (0.4 in.) thick and may have fine hairs. They ripen in June to July. Page References Bailey 525, Fernald 821, Gleason & Cronquist 251, Holmgren 231, Magee & Ahles 606. See reference section below for full citations.
Rubus spp. Other species of Rubus lack the red, glandular-hairy stems and the white lower leaf surfaces.
Rubus phoenicolasius is mainly dispersed by birds and mammals that consume the red fruits. It can also reproduce vegetatively when the canes come in contact with the soil.
Rubus phoenicolasius is native to China and Japan. In the United States it has been reported from Vermont to Georgia and west to Illinois and Arkansas. In New England it has been found in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION IN NEW ENGLAND
Rubus phoenicolasius was introduced into the United States in 1890. It was used for breeding stock for other species of Rubus. It is still used to implement specific genes into other Rubus species. It is unknown how this plant got introduced into New England specifically, but it was most likely through its use as a plant to breed with other species of Rubus that are present in New England.
HABITATS IN NEW ENGLAND
Early Successional Forest, Edge, Floodplain Forest, Herbaceous Wetland, Open Disturbed Area, Roadside, Shrub Wetland, Vacant Lot, Wet Meadow, Yard or Garden. Rubus phoenicolasius prefers moist soil and sun, though it can survive in other habitat types.
Plant Conservation Alliance Fact sheet including management information
Rubus phoenicolasius can rapidly form dense monotypic thickets that crowd out native vegetation. Since the fruits are tasty, it is often not recognized as a problem. Copious fruit production and subsequent bird-dispersal contribute to its spread across the landscape.
Documentation required: A photograph of the leaves and flowers or fruits. Best time for documentation: Summer, fall.
Integrated Taxonomic Information System Taxonomic information
The PLANTS Database General information and a map
Plant Conservation Alliance Fact sheet
ARS-GRIN Brief description and historical information
Virginia Tech Dendrology Description and photographs
Bailey, L.H. 1949. Manual of Cultivated Plants. Macmillan, New York.
Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany 8th ed. American Book Co., Boston.
Gleason, H.A. and A.C. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.
Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.
Magee, D.W and H.E. Ahles. 1999. Flora of the Northeast. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.
USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1. (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.