blackcap raspberry

Rubus leucodermis

Rubus leucodermis (Blackcap Raspberry, Black Raspberry, or Whitebark Raspberry, and native: Blue Raspberry) is a species of Rubus native to western North America, from British Columbia, Canada south to California, New Mexico and Mexico. It is closely related to the eastern Black Raspberry Rubus occidentalis.

It is a deciduous shrub growing to 0.5-2 m tall, with thorny shoots. While the crown is perennial, the canes are biennial, growing vegetatively one year, flowering and fruiting the second and then dying. Like with other dark raspberries, the tips of the 1st year canes (primocanes) often grow downward to the soil in the fall, and take root and form tip layers which become new plants. The leaves are pinnate, with five leaflets on leaves strong-growing stems in their first year, and three leaflets on leaves on flowering branchlets with white, seldom light purple flowers. The fruit is 1–1.2 cm diameter, reddish-purple, dark blue to nearly black when ripe, and has high contents of anthocyanins and ellagic acid.

It is a variable species, as well as forming natural hybrids with other species in subgenus Idaeobatus. Three varieties are recognized:

  • Rubus leucodermis var. leucodermis
  • Rubus leucodermis var. bernadinus Jepson
  • Rubus leucodermis var. trinitatis Berger


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