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Rubus hispidus L.

Swamp dewberry

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderRosalesRose family and eight others
FamilyRosaceaeIncludes apples, apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, almonds, roses, meadowsweets, photinias, firethorns, rowans, and hawthorns; many others
GenusRubusLatin for “bramble” or “blackberry”
SpecieshispidusFrom Latin hispida, “rough, with bristly hairs”

About plant names...

This diminutive semi-evergreen is technically sort of a micro-shrub. Although it can reach 8" (20 cm) in height, it is usually close to the ground. It produces berries similar in appearance to those produced by its much larger sibling shrubs, such as blackberries and raspberries. Dewberry is native to eastern North America, preferring wet habitats, partial sunlight, and acid soils. It is common in disturbed soils, meadows, fields, and wetland and forest edges.

Plants: Swamp dewberry is actually a vine (liana), sometimes up to 8" (20 cm) high, spreading along the ground via stolons, sometimes as far as 8' (2.4 m). Stems are light green or red, with bristly hairs and some small prickles.

Leaves: Leaves are alternate, in clusters of three, obovate or ovate, and crenate or doubly crenate. Leaf clusters are on petioles (stems) up to 4" (10 cm) long. Leaflets are 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long and less than 1" (2.5 cm) wide.

Flowers: Flowers occur in groups of 3-6, each ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) in diameter, with five white wrinkly petals and five much smaller light green sepals. Flowers appear in early to mid summer.

Fruits: Fruits—drupes—resemble miniature blackberries, less than ½" (1.3 cm) in diameter. Green or white at first, they become red, then dark purple or black.

Edibility: Fruits are important nutritive sources for birds, but are sour tasting to people. They are edible.

Online References:

Rubus hispidus on illinoiswildflowers.info

Rubus hispidus on plants.ces.ncsu.edu

Rubus hispidus on treesandshrubsonline.org

Rubus hispidus on gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org

Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)

7/11/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near NH Line, Dunstable, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 21 cm)

Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)

6/14/2016 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, New Hamp­shire

Rubus hispidus L. var. cupulifer L.H. Bailey

Rubus hispidus L. var. obovalis (Michx.) Fernald

Rubus sempervirens Bigelow

 

Rubus hispidus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 28 Aug 2021.

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Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)

8/28/2021 · Otter Brook Preserve, Harpswell, Maine
≈ 4½ × 6" (11 × 14 cm)

Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)

8/13/2017 · Burges Pond, Westford, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 6 × 4½" (14 × 12 cm)

Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)

6/14/2016 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, New Hamp­shire

Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)

6/14/2016 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, New Hamp­shire

Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)

8/2/2010 · Beaver Brook Association Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm) ID is uncertain

Range:

About this map...