Rubus cuneifolius Pursh

  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Common names: sand blackberry.
  • Synonyms: R. chapmanii, R. cuneifolius var. angustior, R. cuneifolius var. spiniceps, R. cuneifolius var. subellipticus, Rubus dixiensis.

    Arching, upright shrub to 1 m (3 ft) tall. Twigs angled to terete, with gray pubescence when young; many stout prickles, 1/8-1/4 inch long. Leaves alternate, palmately compound, 3-foliate; leaflets cuneate-obovate, 2-5 cm (0.8-2 in) long and 3.5 cm (1.4 in) or less wide; short, appressed hairs above, tomentose beneath; dark green above, gray beneath; rounded or truncate at base; rounded with blade widening toward the apex; margins serrate above the middle, entire to revolute; petiole stout, pubescent, 3.3-5 cm (1.3-2 in) long with stout spines. Inflorescence a slender raceme with 3-5 flowers, pedicels pubescent; flowers 1-3 cm (0.4-1.2 in) in diameter; calyx 5-lobed, tomentose, reflexed; petals 5, white, obtuse; pistils many, inserted on hypanthium; stamens numerous; flowers appear from May to July. Fruit an aggregation of drupelets, 6-10 mm (1/4-2/5 in) in diameter, globular or oblong, black; numerous seeds; fruits mature July to September.

    Distribution: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana.
    Habitat: sandy soils and woodland margins.
    Comments: Rubus is a Roman name meaning red; cuneifolius refers to the wedge shaped leaves.
    Field identification: Rubus is a complex genus. Species are difficult to identify due to frequent hybridization and introgression.
    Food use: fruits rather dry but edible. Typically used in jams and jellies.
    Wildlife benefits: blackberry fruits are eaten by many species of birds and mammals.
    NWI status: not available.

    Distribution in Oklahoma: Reported for the state, but no specimens are in the Bebb Herbarium.

    Last update: 9/17/99
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