The genus Rubus, (especially the blackberries, which are often loosely referred to as Rubus fruticosus agg.) presents some of the most difficult taxonomic problems. This is partly due to the frequency of polyploidy; also to the frequent occurrence of hybridization; and also due to apomixis, where minor differences between plants are preserved because seedlings are genetically identical to their parent. As a result, differences of opinion on the number of species to be recognized from a given region can vary tremendously (for example, a treatment by M. L. Fernald[
] in 1950 recognized 205 species for the northern half of the eastern United States plus parts of southeastern Canada, whilst H. A. Gleason and A. Cronquist in 1991 recognized only 25)[
]. Where possible, a relatively conservative approach is taken here[
Rubus floribundus is a shrub, producing each year a cluster of prickly, biennial stems growing from a woody rootstock; the stems can be up to 450cm long[
]. The stems only produce leaves, and do not flower, in their first year of growth, forming flowering branches in their second year and then dying after fruiting.
The plant is widely harvested from the wild for local use as a food and also as a medicine. It is sometimes cultivated for its fruit in the Andes at an altitudinal range of 2,200 - 3,100 metres, where it is also used to provide a stock-proof barrier[
S. America - Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador.
Hedgerows in Ecuador[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of higher elevations in the tropics.
Species in this genus are generally easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
Fruit - raw[
]. Of good quality[
]. The fruit is about 20mm long[
An infusion of the leaves, combined with the leaves of Perezia multiflora, Senecio calvus, Jungia rugosa, Eucalyptus sp., etc, is used in the treatment of coughs and flu[
The young leaves, harvested from the stem apex, are chewed as a treatment for throat pain and inflammation[
A traditional treatment for headache due to blood high pressure is to place the plant over burning charcoal - when the leaves are hot they are placed around the head and kept in place until they become cold[
An infusion of the flowers is drunk as a treatment for digestive problems[
The plants are grown in hedges, where their sharp thorns and intertwined stems act as a strong barrier to larger animals[
Seed - germinates best if given a period of cold stratification prior to sowing in containers. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the growing season. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on until large enough to plant out.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood in a frame[
Tip layering towards the end of the growing season
Division just before the plant comes into new growth or as it enters dormancy[
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