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 scioanus Chiov.
Rubus ulugurensis Engl.
Rubus steudneri is a hairy, scrambling shrub producing stems armed with small prickles that can grow up to 4 metres long[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Tropical Africa - Ethiopia, southern Somalia, eastern DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania.
Moist bamboo thicket; edges and clearings in upland rain-forest; secondary bushland and scrub; forest with Podocarpus latifolius, Olea capensis and Syzygium guineense; ravines with Podocarpus latifolius; etc[
Species in this genus are generally easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
Fruit - raw[
]. The fruits are dark red to black when fully ripe[
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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