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Rubus ulmifolius Schott
Family Rosaceae
Common name: Blackberry

Rubus ulmifolius Schott APNI*

Synonyms: Rubus chloocladus W.C.R.Watson APNI*

Description: Spreading semi-deciduous shrub up to 2 (rarely to 3 when growing through or over other vegetation) m high forming dense thickets. Primocane stems strongly angled with faces furrowed or not, with no hairs or a sparse covering of non glandular hairs (less often close dense appressed non-glandular hairs), often developing a white scaly covering with age, prickles present on New South Wales plants, 5–12 mm long, mainly on angles, rooting at apex. Floricane similar to primocane with densely pubescent erect tufted hairs.

Primocane leaves consisting of 3 or 5 leaflets (sometimes some joined); mature mid primocane leaflets densely and minutely felted below, pilose hairs absent or rare, terminal leaflet usually largest, 3–5.5 (rarely to 8) cm long and 1–3 (rarely to 5.5) cm wide, petiole 2–6.5 cm long. Floricane leaves consisting of 3 (or less often 5) leaflets (sometimes some joined), lower surface of mid floricane leaflets similar to lower surface of mid primocane leaves, terminal leaflet mostly 2.5–8 cm long and 2–5.5 cm wide, petiole 2–5.5 cm long.

Inflorescence a cylindrical terminal panicle of flowers. Sepals with or without prickles. Petals 8–15 mm long, 4–12 mm wide, broad elliptic to orbicular, usually pale pink, cup-shaped and often slightly crumpled. Stamens equal in length to styles.

Fruit ± globose, initially green, ripening red, maturing black.


Flowering: mainly late spring and summer.

Distribution and occurrence: wetter areas of southern to central eastern New South Wales. Native of United Kingdom, continental Europe and north western Africa.

Found in grasslands to forests.
NSW subdivisions: *CT, *ST, *CWS, *SWP
AVH map***

Introduced for its edible fruit but now a weed of agriculture, forestry and the environment. This is the only diploid sexually reproducing species of the Rubus fruticosus L. aggregate in New South Wales.

Text by John Hosking, March 2009
Taxon concept: Evans et al., Australian Systematic Botany 20: 187-251 (2007); previously Harden & Rodd (1990) Flora of NSW 1. (Rubus ulmifolius Schott as used in Harden & Rodd, Flora of New South Wales was misapplied to Rubus anglocandicans with few obvious pilose hairs amongst the felted hairs.)

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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